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Real Madrid Basketball Gets Eliminated From EuroLeague

Sergio Rodríguez (photo via

One week after winning the Copa del Rey title, Real Madrid Basketball got eliminated from the EuroLeague, even though the team won in Siena's field. The team needed Málaga to beat Bilbao in order to qualify for the next round, but the Basque team got away with the win instead.

Los merengues' ugly defeat in Bilbao was key as they ended up losing the overall points average with the Men in Black.

It's been a strange season for Real Madrid. Laso's players have shown that they know how to score, but have only defended well in just one game: the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona. It's always good to see a team playing an up-tempo style like Mike D'Antoni's Phoenix Suns, but the Suns never won a Conference Final, and Real Madrid will have a hard time playing with that attitude against the Euroleague's top teams.

However, the elimination is not a drama, and Real Madrid would have faced CSKA Moscow, where they would have been eliminated anyway. The Russians are the best team in the competition and Real Madrid didn't have a chance against Andrei Kirilenko, Krstic and Teodosic. This team will more than likely win the EuroLeague, unless they suffer from injury or the other team gets lucky in the Final Four.

Now, Liga Endesa is Real Madrid's priority. The team could beat any Spanish team, even FC Barcelona. Navarro, Lorbek and the like can be defeated any given night, just as Real Madrid showed in the Copa del Rey final.

Some players still need to step up their game. Croatian Center Ante Tomic is one of Liga Endesa's most dangerous players when he's in shape. Still, he is not adapting well to the up-tempo style Laso wants to play. It's always hard for a center to play at that speed, but Tomic definitely has the skills to do just that. Mirza Begic is now Real Madrid's starting center, but if Tomic finds his rhythm in the team's offense and looks to intimidate the other team defensively, Real Madrid would be a lot more dangerous with him on the court.

Kyle Singler hasn't performed well since he joined the team from Lucentum Alicante. The American forward was known as a good defender and also a sharpshooter from beyond the arc. The former Blue Devil has shown he can guard other players like Navarro, but he still needs to improve his shooting to be more of a use to the team.

Luckily enough for Real Madrid, Carlos Suárez and Sergio Llull have taken their game to the next level in the past few months. These two Spanish players were getting a lot of minutes, but were also losing a lot of balls, especially Llull. Llull was the Copa del Rey MVP and hasn't looked back since. If he keeps this form with Sergio Rodríguez on the court, Real Madrid will increase their chances of winning the Liga Endesa. Llull needs to stop playing point guard and start as Real Madrid's shooting guard.

The team will now concentrate on a more realistic goal--the Liga Endesa. With better defense, they are clearly championship contenders.

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