A sad farewell to the promotion playoff. A painful goodbye in the second round to try to return to the Endesa League. A tragic, but at the same time written end for Movistar Estudiantes of a season that has been a seesaw of emotions, with an exciting, fun beginning; and a disappointing closure, which left in broad daylight all the shortcomings of the staff and the institution. The comparison, kilo by kilo, centimeter by centimeter, with the big rivals (and sometimes with the small ones) to improve became evident during the course of the season with MoraBanc Andorra, and unquestionable with Hereda San Pablo Burgos in quarters that were resolved quickly, a 0-3 with a home field advantage wasted twice, and that the Spaniards finished off this Friday (87-85).
With the wind in their favor, the people of Burgos only had to give another blow to bring down an opponent who left the regular season undefeated against them, but who at the key moment could not stop an offensive machine that travels to the Final Four with a 47 of 87 from the perimeter. A 54% success rate impossible to follow. A Malaysian drop that prevents any assault, any moment of tranquility. It is a bombardment that leaves advantages on wet paper, which stretches the marker in an authoritarian way. And when all that fails, the electric Corbalán and the imperial Mahalbasic spring into action.
A colossal, serious and veteran enemy who played badly during the regular season, but who seems to arrive ready, with confidence through the roof after hitting Estudiantes three times in a row. Although this third meeting was closer to the first than to the second: there was emotion until the end. There were moments for the Castilian hearts to stop and the people of Madrid to dream. With just two minutes to go, nothing was decided, 80-79 after a basket by Sean Smith. San Pablo broke there, with Carlos Suárez and Luka Rupnik unleashing two triples that killed a match that the Ramireños fought until the end.
Movistar hung up on the initial mistake of the three locals (quite a novelty) to throw themselves into the mountains. Smith imparted energy, Larsen read well the two against one on him and Franch continued sweet as in the previous duel: 6 points without a missed shot and 19-22 to close the first quarter. The San Pablo did not panic. There was an address marked. Not even with the first important advantages against (27-37) with Leimanis commanding. His time would come. And he took advantage of it with Álex López, who linked 9 points at the dawn of the second half to turn the score around (51-50). A collegiate rush, by Larsen and Franch, made it 59-64 to close the third quarter. Great minutes (the whole game really) by Adams Sola in defense, authority, discipline and attack: 14 points (4 of 4 of three). He always complies.
The last 10 minutes were full of emotion, tension… and also of a Corbalán who dismantled the defensive tangle with impossible penetrations, with five juggling goals that left the collegiate work absolutely nothing. The final arreón of the people from Madrid was stopped by Suárez and Rupnik. bitter farewell Another year at LEB Oro for a Student who will start again from scratch. Again and that’s it…