The recital by Marcelinho Huertas was not enough for Lenovo Tenerife to defend the Basketball Champions League title in Sunday’s final. did not have the day Txus Vidorreta’s team, who only held on to the game when the Brazilian rebelled at the end of the third quarter. From then until the end, the point guard brought together the ball and all the offensive responsibility of his team. Hapoel, who came to enjoy a comfortable advantage of 15 points (37-52), found no antidote to stop Huertas and the Canaries had the last possession to win the game. But Fitipaldo is not Huertas. His triple final did not enter and with him the Canarian dream disappeared to repeat continental scepter.
Tenerife won the first battles in the paint. Guerra de entrada and, above all, Shermadini, prevailed over Hankins and Mejeris. The 11 almost consecutive points from the Georgian kept the Canarian team away (25-17). But Dzikic adjusted his defense, closed the access to the rim and Lenovo lost its way on offense. Marcelinho could not find the best partner for him, and without the threat of the connection with Shermadini, Tenerife’s offensives were very thick. Neither Salin nor Jaime Fernández unblocked from the perimeter and Hapoel launched a reaction that did not stop.
A 1-13 (26-30) run put the Israelis ahead. The inspiration of Carrington and Randolph from outside did a lot of damage to the Vidorreta team. Outside shots did not enter in attack and in defense there was no response to stop an ever-increasing Israeli avalanche.
Not even going through the locker room revitalized Lenovo Tenerife. The 2 of 17 (12%) in triples by the Spaniards collided head-on with the 6 of 9 (67%) by Hapoel at 2:30 to the end of the third quarter. Brown joined the Dzikic party with two consecutive triples to turn the pass to the final into a heroic act for the yellows (37-52, minute 28).
Four consecutive points from the golden pair of Vidorreta, Huertas and Shermadini, was the beginning of the Canarian reaction (42-52 at the end of the third quarter). Huertas also scored at the start in the final act, but he committed two consecutive fouls, one in each basket, and with four personnel, Vidorreta was forced to sit him out. However, the weak game of Fitipaldo and, above all, of Jaime Fernández, returned the Brazilian to the track. And now yes, Tenerife began to meet. Three consecutive triples (one from Bolmaro and two from Doornekamp) and a much more aggressive defense from the Canaries balanced the game (55-58).
Marcelinho continued his show. Al Hapoel’s wrists began to shake and Guerra and Huertas himself confirmed the ‘sorpasso’ (61-58, 3:12 from the end). Only Vene resisted Marcelinho’s recital, in superhero mode. The eight consecutive points of the yellow point guard found the response of the Estonian (seven points in a row). The match, vibrant on the field and in the stands, was tied with 47” remaining (67-67).
Shermadini missed a free kick and Carrington put Hapoel ahead (68-69). Huertas hoarded the ball on the final possession, drew the entire Israeli defense and doubled for a loose 3-pointer from Fitipaldo. But the Uruguayan is not Huertas. The ball did not go in and Hapoel Jerusalem, to the absolute delirium of its 1,700 fans present at the Carpena, will play the final on Sunday. There will be no Spanish final.