There are two kinds of tough matches: on the one hand, there are those that pit you against a rival with the same muscle as you; and, on the other, in which the level of your opponent is so inferior to yours that the encounter becomes heavy, difficult to digest. Complicated to dispatch. This last case was the one that Movistar Estudiantes found against bottom club Juaristi ISB, who despite having only three victories in 16 days and only nine professionals for his visit to Madrid did the impossible to give the best possible image. For not falling off the first corner. And, regardless of the bulky score (75-55) and the feeling of inferiority, he did it.
The Basques, the first to defeat the Ramireños in their journey through the LEB Oro last season, stayed alive for almost 32 minutes with good blows from Magassa (7 points) and Sy (15). His latest signing, Kai Edwards, struggled well under the boards with 10 against the inferiority of his team in that section: 41 to 32. This did not help him not to always be below the score, but it did make his heart beat: college leads consistently exceeded ten points through the first three quarters, but fell short of two dozen… until the student’s final blow in the last quarter after an 11-2 start that Rubén Domínguez culminated in 65-44.
But to get there, to that cannon shot, Movistar had to navigate through a sea of failures in the launch that were already intuited at the dawn of the duel: his first basket came with almost five minutes played. Juaristi was not lagging behind and got the first in play with 10 seconds left to close the opening act. The result, a disaster for the show, 15-5 with the Basques in 1 of 15 shooting from the field, 0 of 9 from the perimeter.
Short difference, but it was already a heavy slab for a team that had just enough and that experienced a huge performance by the always hyperactive Sean Smith. The Madrid forward is a physical marvel, with an immeasurable jumping capacity that Juaristi suffered: he caused 6 of the 10 blocks that put the Students. Also, scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for a PIR of 30. Without the injured Larsen (Atencia was not there either) and a failed Jawara, although key in the takeoff of the last period with his reading of the game, the son of the legendary Sean Smith was key in the collegiate awakening and in a victory that saw the scoring version of Rubén Domínguez (17 goals) and the minutes of youth squad Montero. 13th victory of the season to settle in third place in the standings before the 75th anniversary party and the arrival of a new giant, Michael Carrera’s IGC Lleida.