Unexpected setback for Baskonia in Belgrade against a Red Star that was not at stake. The team from Vitoria now has three consecutive home games out of the remaining four and will close the regular season against an Olympiacos that perhaps nothing will be played for then. There are several pursuers on the lookout and even Zalgiris can take him out of the Top-8 this day. It gives the feeling that they will need three victories to seal the passport to the next phase. Maybe with ‘average’.
Against Ivanovic and his troops, a bad second quarter, in which the Red Star toughened the game a lot, left the people from Vitoria without options. They did not know how to match the physical bar. A lot of harshness allowed by the referees, but that was seen coming. Campazzo began to do his thing and Nedovic showed all his class in attack. Vildoza fell injured. Thompson and Giedraitis saved themselves from burning in an afternoon with 19 losses. Peñarroya alluded to the “worst attacking game of the season.”
It can be said that the Buesa team was blocked. His fabulous attack, the best on the Old Continent, was shattered. He was again wrong from the outside line and found no answer from a second quarter that marked the rest of the game. He only scored six triples and, despite a great start to the game, the Catalans could not withstand the pressure in the Balkans’ own half. The Serbian errors gave hope, but everything went down the drain with 10 minutes with only three points between the second and third quarters, at which point the pulse was cooked for the locals.
The blaugrana started with a solid 0-7, which the local team countered with the Campazzo-Martin connection and a devilish pace that both teams infected. The attacks commanded the defenses, although the Balkan offensive precipitation allowed the Álava team to speed up, who maintained the lead by reading the advantages in the defensive pairings. Red Star did not hit the mark with the released shots and Baskonia, who maintained their scoring rhythm, took advantage of it to open the first important gap at the start of the second round, 23-35.
Campazzo’s pressure on the base position disconnected the Baskonistas and the local counterattacks put up a 14-0 run to turn the score around. The people from Vitoria accumulated 7 minutes without scoring, the result of pressure from the locals, who defended to the limit against a headless Baskonia without Thompson in charge, who suffered eight losses. A triple by Howard broke the scoring drought for the Catalans. But the powder did not dry up after passing through the changing rooms, Baskonia took more than three minutes to open in the second half and received an 11-2 start. Campazzo, without scoring, continued to mark the defensive level and caused the total disconnection of Peñarroya’s men who suffered on the rebound with the activity of Bentil and Mitrovic. In the midst of the chaos and the numerous errors, the public went crazy for a triumph of height.