But what happens to Fabien Talker as soon as he sets foot in the Stark Arena? “I recommend that he buy a house in Belgrade, everything will be fine for him”, smiled Pablo Laso. Four years after dominating the final against Fenerbahçe Istanbul in this same arena, the back from Plouzané has shone again in the Serbian capital. “We always believe that Fabien will raise his level in the big moments”, appreciated his trainer, “very happy to have him by his side”. However, this season, it was difficult to find a better timing than this second half to see the tricolor come out of its box… -13 in the 21st minute (34-47) without a training leader (since the exit of injury to Nigel Williams-Goss from the first seconds) against FC Barcelona carried by an extraordinary Nikola Mirotic (39 rating), winner of five of the six Clasicos of the season … Who was going to bet on Real Madrid?
52% of Real’s points scored by the French in the second half!
Fabien Talker, of course. Discreet during the first period (4 points at 2/3), like his team (34-45), the former player from Le Havre and Cholet took matters into his own hands. Sent to the lead, he improved each ball to accumulate 11 points and 2 interceptions in the third quarter, just to shock FC Barcelona who thought they had things in hand (from 44-54 to 62-56). And then, in the money-time, when Barça seemed about to tip the scales again (75-75, 37th minute), Causeur chained a 5-0 on his own to repel the Catalans (80-75) . “I don’t want to talk about what’s happening between Belgrade and me before Saturday’s final, I’m superstitious,” smiled the best Breton in the history of French basketball. Others have done it for him suddenly… “It’s this room I think”, slipped Vincent Poirier. “I don’t know what’s going on here but he’s a very good player. Today he showed us what it was like to show off during a Final Four, a great game. I’m very glad we got it in this condition. »
Fabien Causeur’s left hand wreaked havoc again in a Final Four
(photo: Victor Carretero / Real Madrid)
Beyond Fabien Causeur, the whole French structure of Real Madrid shone. Inside during his first time on the floor, to the point of missing a dunk, Vincent Poirier had a real impact after the break (6 points at 3/6, 5 rebounds and 3 rebounds), symbolized by this fantastic “chase- down” block on Nicolas Lapprovitola 52 seconds from the buzzer. “I took a little time to get into it,” opined the Ile-de-France pivot. “But I refocused on really contributing because I didn’t want to have any regrets. I gave it my all in the second half! “At his side, in the racket, Guerschon Yabusele was fantastic. In the shadow of Fabien Causeur’s stroke of madness, the child of the Chorale de Roanne nevertheless finished MVP of the evening (18 points at 6/9 and 8 rebounds for 24 evaluation in 33 minutes, the longest playing time of the meeting) with a multitude of decisive actions: a three-pointer to offer the Merengues their biggest gap of the evening (73-66, 36th minute) and above all an offensive rebound captured on a missed free throw from Sergio Llull 5 seconds from the siren to seal Madrid’s qualification for the final (86-83, final score). “Even without a leader, we have other qualities, like our big men,” added Poirier. “We did a lot of work inside to dissuade them as much as possible. »
“The Victory of Character”
At the bottom of the hole at the beginning of spring, beaten in eight of its last ten regular season games in the EuroLeague, humiliated at the bottom Kaunas (only 47 points scored), Real Madrid has nevertheless been able to find the resources to place itself in position to seek his 11th continental crown on Sunday. A story of tradition, the strength of a know-how, of a heritage, where without necessarily being the best team, as in the football section of King Benzema, the white house knows how to win the big matches. The right ones. Barça remained on five victories in a row in the Clasico but remains at the dock of the big European final. “A lot of people talked about us, doubted ourselves,” said Vincent Poirier in the mixed zone, delighted to silence the gossip. “This victory is the character of our team! “It is also that of his tricolor trio. This Thursday, it was Real de France.