Movistar Estudiantes puts an end this Friday to a regular phase of the LEB Oro that started sweet and ended up being too heavy for delicate stomachs. The schoolboys have had two faces, the one they showed from October to February and another, sadder, from that month until this May that opens the next phase of the season: the playoffs.
In the first five months, the Estu rode with good spirit, 15 victories in 19 days that allowed him to live comfortably in third position without losing sight of MoraBanc Andorra and Zunder Palencia, the two giants this season that devoured the people of Madrid at the Palace. The game was fast, showy. With gaps, but incontestable for most of the rivals… However, February arrived, the stoppages for the Princess Cup and national teams, and the framework cracked.
It was an unexplained plummet fall. The style is gone. The defense was made of paper. The game became predictable: the rivals found one and a thousand answers to get their hands on attack and tie up defense. The result, the departure of Javi Rodríguez from the bench and Pancho Jasen from sports management, and only 5 wins in 13 days before taking a victory of great caste, and after two extensions, against Hereda San Pablo Burgoswho paints to be the rival in the quarterfinal playoff.
Whether it is with a court factor in favor or against depends on this last day of the LEB with a unified schedule: the nine games are played at 9:00 p.m. Estudiantes travel to Azpeitia to face Juaristialready relegated and the first rival who beat the people of Madrid in their walk through Second last season. The accounts are clear: if he wins, he will have home field advantage. If he loses, he would only keep it if Lleida, Valladolid and Burgos lose or only Valladolid of those three wins.
“When a team does not play anything, it is more dangerous. We also know how difficult it is to play there, last year we lost 20 or so. We are prepared for a difficult match”, explains Adams Sola. The escort has gained more weight with the arrival of Alberto Lorenzo to a bench that will have a new face, that of the recently signed Ivan Aurrecoechea. The pivot (27 years old and 2.03 m) arrived this week from Albacete, where he had a good course, to reinforce the team in the knockout phase.
The duel coincides with one of the great ephemeris of the students: 60 years ago, in Guipúzcoa, the province where Juaristi is based, they won the first of their three Copas del Rey. At that time, the Generalissimo after beating Real Madrid 94-90 with a masterful performance by Martínez Arroyo, Ramos, Mimou and Codina, as recounted by the Basque newspaper that May 19, 1963.
A trophy that has its history within the walls of Ramiro since the club does not have it physically. No one knows exactly where a Cup may be that began to cement the history of a group that this year celebrates its 75th anniversary of existence.