UCAM Murcia takes advantage of a low Bilbao Basket

The general feeling is that Murcia is the team that is finishing the year the best within that orb outside the playoff territory. And that it can even bother Valencia as the eighth passenger of the regular phase, although the taronja team has it in hand and he should mess it up a lot so that he doesn’t sneak among the chosen ones. Right now they are tied for victories (16), although Mumbrú’s men still have to play against the evicted Fuenlabrada. The last matchday matches them with a Breogán in free fall and those from Sito visit the almighty Barcelona. The group that goes from nine to twelve classified, with the university students, Bilbao Basket and the Galicians of Obradoiro and Breogán, is holding an interesting fight with the European tickets and the goal of escaping the previous Champions League by means. UCAM has a squad to get away from all of them and that is what they have done, because they have added Chiozza, a former Warriors, a player with enormous pedigree to their group. They carry four wins in a row, six in the last seven days and Sito says that he is “happy, eternally happy”. When he seemed to aim for a gray campaign for the thirteenth rung or so, he already has at least the ninth. If this goes on for another couple of weeks, someone in La Fonteta will still be breathless.

Seeing Bilbao Basket right now is sad. In Sweden with the family is Hakanson, its star. At his home in Malaga after undergoing knee surgery is Francis Alonso, another generator, who was taking flight after a tortuous year and wanted to establish himself as one of the offensive supports due to the absence of the Nordic point guard. Any player capable of leading the team is subjected to an unknown curse. Radicevic, who does not stop suffering strange injuries in actions that are not very forced, was hit on his left knee in the second quarter in Murcia. And Ubal, who came to the Palace with plantar fasciitis, suffered a severe ankle sprain in his left foot and left the track helped by two teammates. Greeting the kids who wanted to high-five, yes, this team lacks physicality but plenty of heart. The imbalance in the squad with so much witchcraft is evident, the perimeter is left naked in front of the ‘overbooking’ of big men. It seems impossible to save so much tripping. Smith has played more time than one would like, which reduces his freshness to score points, and Rabaseda has improvised as baton. The result is the eleventh straight defeat in the ACB for the Biscayans, 14 adding those of BCL. Anything short of a beating would be news, and he has stood tall. Nothing to reproach a dressing room so hit by misfortune.

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67 – UCAM Murcia Basketball Club (18+12+19+18): Chiozza (5), Jelínek (12), Rojas (3), Nikolic (10) and Pustovyi (6) -starting five-; Klavzar (3), Bellas (2), Radovic (7), McFadden (11), Sakho (4) and Diop (4).

55 – Surne Bilbao Basket (7+17+17+14): Radicevic (2), Smith (9), Rabaseda (5), Sulejmanovic (7) and Withey (14) -starting five-; Barandalla (2), Ubal, Álex Reyes (5), Kyser (4), Tsalmpouris (5) and Rosa (2).

Referees: Antonio Conde Ruiz, Javier Torres Sánchez and Raúl Zamorano Sánchez. They eliminated the local Sakho (m.39) for five fouls.

Incidents: Match corresponding to the thirty-third day of the Endesa Basketball League that was played at the Palacio de los Deportes in Murcia in front of 5,891 spectators. UCAM CB Murcia debuted a new shirt, which was a nod to the past as it is a replica with nuances to the first one used by the then-named Júver Murcia.

It was the fourth confrontation between the two teams this season, they know each other well, and while the university students have gained in staff and quality, the Biscayans have dedicated themselves to entering the infirmary en masse. UCAM has won the two Champions League clashes and this one in the second round, and Surne was able to get the thorn out with a beating in Miribilla in the League. A game of those who raise blisters. Sito’s box, obviously, did not have to do magic to win a pulse that was very simple. Nikolic began by starting a match that was not seen in Bilbao even remotely in a whole year. He surprised his staging, without a doubt. The locals abused the starting triple but his very good defense and resounding dominance in the rebound allowed them to lead from the start with a 9-0 run.

Ponsarnau sparked his notebook, bringing together Withey again, with less rhythm than a stone, and Tsalmpouris. Nikolic and Pustovyi ran the track to acquire the first local advantages. McFadden hit one of those Llull-style triple-tangerines that served him to overcome having 182 and surpass Benite, the third in the history of the grana club: 27-16. The team drew nostalgia with a shirt that recalled the historic Júver who was promoted to the elite in 1990, the one with the long controversy over the improper alignment of Esteban Pérez.

The shooting percentages of two of the visitors were terrifying: 11 percent at the end of the first act. They were greatly outmatched in defense, they needed to produce in the first seconds of possession, to be vertical. All his shots were well defended and the recoveries and the rebound gave wings to Sito’s pupils. After the game was interrupted for several minutes by the indisposition, specifically a drop in tension, of a spectator who was evacuated from the stands on a stretcher, the return to the field showed a more determined Bilbao Basket and that helped him to get closer on the scoreboard and reach six points at halftime (30-24). Withey contributed to reduce the initial difference in the inside game.

After the intermission, the game resumed with two consecutive three-pointers scored by Jelínek, a layup by Radovic and a dunk by Pustovyi and that 10-0 scoreline returned to shooting the Murcians with their greatest advantage up to that moment (40-24). The thing became very clear to them: 45-27. The counterattack was his alone: ​​10-0 in that game. But the ‘men in black’ never give up, they get up even if you give them the coup de grace. They pushed back and trusted their leader Smith. There are three fives in the ranks of Surne, but only Sule posted, who they tried to get as far away from the ring as possible with the enormous university physique. At 49-41 they seemed to glimpse a heroic morning, although Tsalmpouris missed two triples in the same possession and in the next one Smith did the same, with a ball that got stuck between the iron and the glass.

Bilbao Basket’s comeback attempt ended in that because another better staging by the Murcians opened the gap further with an almost definitive 9-0 at that point in the match (58-41). In any case, there was still a game left, the Biscayans were able to overcome another lousy start to the fourth. The relaxation of the locals, who conceded that same 0-9 score in just two minutes, made them see that their victory could be in jeopardy. Chiozza, a star in the ACB, did not score until 3:27 remained, a triple for 61-50. It broke the local drought and stopped the visitor’s impetus. The losses left Bilbao to their fate and the match ended with a dunk from Postovyi on a counterattack.

Sito highlights that UCAM Murcia “knew how to hold on from defense”

Sito Alonso appreciated that his team “knew how to hold on from the defense” to win at the Palacio de los Deportes and he did not hide his happiness at the reaction of a team like the university team that has linked four wins in the Endesa League. “It was a fairly tight game in which each team tried to set their own pace and when we did, we made a difference against an opponent who played a good game. We knew how to hold on from the defense to prevent them from scoring easily ”, he indicated by way of assessment in the press room after the clash.

The Madrid coach highlighted Klavzar’s “courage”, Pustovyi’s “strength” and the fact that Nikolic “led the way at the start”, as well as “the atmosphere at the Palace, which registered a very good start and everything was fantastic for us”, although at the same time he made it clear that there is still work to be done. “The season is not over for us and we will go to Barcelona to compete and try to win,” he advanced, aware of how difficult it is to win at the end of the regular season against Barça at the Palau Blaugrana.

Ponsarnau: “We have few things to reproach ourselves with, but some”

Ponsarnau lamented the bad luck of his team. “We have few things to reproach ourselves with, but we do have a few things like the start of the game and the third quarter and it was seen that we have some players that are diesel and the rival takes advantage of that. We did not find the right moment or the right one, although the team responded with a mentality, ”he declared after the match played at the Palacio de los Deportes in Murcia against UCAM. “When Nikola was injured we had to improvise and with Agustín’s injury everything fell apart and even Xavi Rabaseda had to play as point guard, but the team had the commitment and energy to fight until the end,” he continued.

With 55 points it is difficult to win in the Endesa League because Bilbao Basket found problems attacking the solid university defense. “We had mistakes on free throws and a lot of turnovers, but we are proud of the mentality we showed,” his coach also said. “I am very happy with the team’s classification. We are ninth and with options in the fight for eighth position. We are the only team that can snatch that place from Valencia Basket, which is a very good team, and that makes me very happy”, stated the university coach.

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