Bilbao Basket passes the round after securing the group leadership

This phase of the Champions League is too small for Bilbao Basket. It is true that Igokea got up to Miribilla’s beards, a spirited team that took advantage of the lousy day for the ‘men in black’ to put a little sauce in Group D, although also quite clumsy, by not trying to fight for the ‘average’. But the rest has been a walk, a bath and a massage from Ponsarnau’s pupils, especially against a Bahçesehir that some scared by painting it as the direct rival for the lead, but that has proven to be a group of the bunch, even with the addition in this commitment in Ottoman lands of Blazic, Hall and a Gist who is about to retire, if today is better than tomorrow. It is prestigious to win on the Fenerbahçe track, the Ülker Sports and Event Hall, without looking at the fine print, that it was the venue to which a group that in ACB would be cannon fodder has moved, that is, relegation. It would be unfair to highlight the demerit of the Ottomans, because part of their caricature of the game is due to the defensive bar set in motion by the Biscayans, who endured a supposedly electric start from the oranges and overcame with insulting authority a phase of doubts, when Savas (Thank goodness it is spelled with a v, because having the same name as Sabonis and being so little at this point in his career hurts the eyes) he scored under the rim and put the tight 26-27 at 4:33 for the break. There was only local leadership on the scoreboard for 1:38, not even two minutes.

Therefore, first place secured and move on to the next phase, the Top-16, with another four groups of four. That leadership has never been in danger, nor the ‘average’ of +14, only a cataclysm left the Biscayan team without the head of the lot, a +15 or more and the Ottoman victory in Bosnia on the last day. Tenerife, current champion of the tournament, has many ballots to be a travel companion, it will happen if he also commands his group. The ‘men in black’ dodge the annoying and diabolical ‘play-in’ and clear the month of January to focus on the ACB. A treat. In addition, they add baskets to the bag of their confidence after the bitterness against Obradoiro. For example, Sulejmanovic has finally been unleashed with a good game, the fives Withey and Kyser have taken over the areas and the others have savored positive feelings. Even Francis Alonso has been able to smile something. Radicevic is still seen without the adequate physique to exploit his many virtues, but he has a long way to go until he has the baton in tune. And Rosa should play more, that seems obvious. She was able to have minutes, like Ubal, so they don’t lose a certain competitive rhythm. In short: twelve guys scoring and enjoying. The process remains in Miribilla against the already eliminated Nymburk, watching as a spectator the fight between Igokea and Bahçesehir in Bosnia for second place.

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ABSTRACT

Bahçesehir College (18+14+14+14): Hall (4), Smith (13), Arslan (12), Gist (1) and Boutsiele (8) -starting five-, Shepherd (5), Ozmirak, Baygül (3), Blazic (8), Candan, Savas ( 4) and Ozdemir (2).

Surne Bilbao Basket (23+19+28+22): Hakanson (10), Smith (9), Rabaseda (3), Sulejmanovic (16) and Withey (13) -starting five-, Radicevic (5), Alonso (7), Reyes (8), Andersson (2), Kyser (11), Ubal (4) and Rosa (4).

Partial: 18-23, 32-42 (rest); 46-70 and 60-92 (final).

Referees: Boris Krejic (Slovenia), Beniamino Manuel Attard (Italy) and Martin Vulic (Croatia). Eliminated for fouls Baygül (m.32).

Incidents: Match of the fifth day of Group D of the BCL played at the Ülker Sports and Event Hall in Istanbul with a large audience in the stands.

Apart from some initial tremors, everything was a path of Roses through Istanbul, with faces of enjoyment at the offensive fluidity. Homework done before a team erased from the map. 23 points after losing no less for Surne and 14 on the counterattack, a mountain of 41 from the bench, which maintained the tension at all times. Bahçesehir started attacking with almost everyone open, including a Boutsiele who has quality in his hands and feet to export, although he lacks gray matter. Sule contained the rival attacks and had the offensive fluidity lost after his tour in Tenerife. It was a 0-8 (26-35), stretched to 6-15 at the end of the second quarter (32-42), which marked the beginning of the end for an enemy unable to stop an unleashed Surne. When he threatened to recover the Turkish team (43-58), he did not shake his pulse. The difference grew for the Basques and a strange phase entered with unsportsmanlike attitudes against Withey and techniques, a product of the unhinging of Ernak’s team. Two to the bench, another for Kyser and Baygul for a scuffle and one more for Gist. That did not change the landscape. Reyes put the maximum difference after a triple: 48-82, with 6:23 to go. Once the procedure is completed, travel to Manresa without going home, for the appointment on Saturday at ACB.

Ponsarnau: “Going first is great news, we are proud”

Ponsarnau stressed after the resounding victory achieved that having achieved the pass to the next phase as first group is “great news” of which they feel “happy and proud.” “We are very happy to successfully represent our team, the club, Miribilla, Bilbao and the territory in Europe. And also to give this good image as a result of the good work that I think we are doing”, commented the coach in Istanbul.

He added that they completed a “very good game” at the Ülker Sports Arena and that their “most important value was defense”. “We knew how to attack their defense with a collective game, also looking for individual inspiration. We attacked with balance and we managed to make them not have the confidence to win. The rebound and the turnovers were also key because they allowed us to control our rhythm”, explained the ‘men in black’ coach.

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