Bilbao retakes Europe as outstanding group leader

Bilbao retakes Europe as outstanding group leader

Bilbao Basket has not played in the Champions League for three weeks and resumes the competition tomorrow against Igokeabosnio in Miribilla (8:00 p.m.) as leader in the standings, with a wide advantage over their rivals, and the doubt as to whether they will be able to count on Hakanson, their franchise player, who was absent on Saturday in Zaragoza due to muscular discomfort. “We are going to be patient. We will try until the end, but it is difficult. It is improving, although every time we want to take a step towards a real game situation it is where it is limited”, Ponsarnau points out about the Nordic player. Surne overcame the important absence and added at the Príncipe Felipe their fifth league victory of the season in nine games against a Casademont on a run, the second at home. That trajectory in ACB would have been signed by the Biscayan team and its entourage at this stage of the course and delves into the good start it has had in the Champions League, in which it finished the first round of Group D undefeated in three games and with two victories from advantage over his three rivals. Two of those wins were also at home, the second of them in Bosnia against tomorrow’s rival with an 80-85 score after Surne held off the locals’ scoring pace in the first half and imposed their defense in the second. .

The best visitors were Hakanson himself (16 points, 6 assists and a PIR of 18) and the surprising Ignacio Rosa, a regular complement player but a protagonist in the first half with 17 points scored without a miss and 5 of 5 on three-pointers. Though the decisive basket was achieved by Francis Alonso, making it 78-85 one minute from the end. Of the team led by the vehement Dragan Bagic, on a gray day for its main scorer Bryant Crawford (10), the best were the shooter Waller (25, 7/12 T3 and 24), although going more to hands and Stephens interiors (11, 8 and 16) and Tanaskovic (8, 8 and 16). If they win, Bilbao Basket would almost secure their place in the next round and also do so as first in the group, which is the only team that avoids the intermediate play-in prior to the round of 16.

Ponsarnau assured that, after a three-week hiatus, the locker room faces “with desire” and “great enthusiasm” this return to the BCL. “We know the importance of the game because we can win many things, but we have to be focused on what depends on us”, stressed the coach from Tàrrega. He assured that they respect “a lot” an Igokea that “if it weren’t for injuries and casualties, for ability and play, it would be the strongest team in the group.” “They are in the ointment and they are going to come to do everything possible to beat us. We highly respect their verticality in the game, the points they find in their small players, and their ability to create problems on defense. We will have to be focused and do our best to win, ”he said.


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