The 23rd round of the EuroLeague saw CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid secure playoffs spots.
Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow rallied past Bayern Munich and Cran Canaria, respectively. Consequently, they joined Fenerbahce as the only teams that have secured their ticket to the postseason.
Real Madrid, the defending Euroleague champions, beat Bayern at home (91-78), thanks to a dominant performance in the second half.
Although it was a close game in the first half (22-17, 42-39), Real Madrid was unstoppable over the last 20 minutes.
Playing excellent on both ends of the floor, they outscored their opponents 29-13 in the third quarter and earned a 19-point lead (71-52). Since then, the German visitors couldn’t turn things around and were easily defeated.
Five players scored in double figures for the winners, with Anthony Randolph having 13 points and six rebounds.
On the other hand, Danilo Barthel was the best player of the losing squad from Munich. He finished the match with a game-high 14 points, five boards
With this victory, Real Madrid improved to 18-5 and secured the Euroleague playoff ticket, whereas Bayern Munich dropped to 11-12.
In another game, CSKA was tremendous and cruised to an easy victory over Gran Canaria at home in Moscow (107-85).
The Muscovites took control from the opening tip (18-10) and never looked back. They led by as many as 22 points (81-59) and scored a season-high 107 points to earn the win.
Sergio Rodriguez led the winners with 18 points and eight assists, as Will Clyburn added 17 points and seven rebounds. Alec Peters posted 15 points and six boards.
On the other hand, Marcus Eriksson and Kim Tillie had 13 points apiece for Gran Canaria. The Spanish team simply couldn’t keep up with CSKA Moscow and suffered a heavy defeat.
CSKA Moscow now improved to 18-5, whereas Gran Canaria dropped to 6-17.
Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow now have identical records (18-5), so the battle for the second place will intensify. However, CSKA Moscow already beat Real Madrid twice this season and therefore have the tie-breaker.
In the next Euroleague round, CSKA Moscow will travel to Greece to face Olympiacos. A team that is coming off four straight losses and is in a crisis. At the same time, the next opponent of Real Madrid will be their
That Spanish showdown comes just two weeks after the controversial ending to the Copa Del Rey. The incidents that took place in the Final may lead to Real leaving the ACB. The rematch in the Euroleague will be an interesting one
Overall, CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid ensured they will play in the Euroleague postseason. This was their minimum target at the beginning of the season. The next step is the battle for the second place in the standings, with the Muscovites having the upper hand.