MMore than a month without playing and a bitter comeback against Joventut served Urbas Fuenlabrada to unleash, three days later and again at home, defeating Casademont Zaragoza 77-55, in what was their sixth victory of the season and, Above all, a moral rearmament for the Madrid team.
After checking how the coronavirus, due to outbreaks of others and their own, slowed down their good streak in December -when they won three of four games- and found a setback in the return to competition against ‘Penya’, Urbas Fuenlabrada found itself same this Monday, against the same rival that he had won a month and a half before in Zaragoza, whom he beat despite his reinforcements.
Intense on the rebound (42 local catches for 33 visitors), with the commitment that he lacked last Friday, the leadership of the young Slovenian point guard Ziga Samar (11 points and 5 assists) and the power of the American power forward Kwan Cheatham (16 points and 11 rebounds) broke a Casademont that only worked at times, when Santi Yusta (9 points) or the Belgian Hans Vanwijn (9 and 8 rebounds) worked.
The aggressiveness that ‘Fuenla’ lacked against Joventut, he presented at the start against Zaragoza, with the local Dragan Milosavljevic throwing himself to the ground to steal a ball from the visiting point guard Omar Cook as proof. Only Yusta reacted while Jaume Ponsarnau looked at the ground and shook his head seeing that his team had not taken a single rebound in five minutes (12-6).
The Aragonese quintet changed, but that did not serve as a reaction to an intense and fast Fuenlabrada, who gave his faithful, some 2,156 unconditional fans capable of approaching Fernando Martín on a Monday night, a recital of steals and runs, with consecutive dunks by Christian Eyenga and Cheatham to close the first quarter with a resounding 26-11.
Casademont came back with more vigor, rising a point in defense, finally attending to the rebound, and above all choosing better in attack with Vanwjin’s movements (26-17, min. 13). ‘Fuenla’ was reactivated by raising the rebounding piston again, although the final blackout of the locals – who lost six balls in this period alone – left a tighter score at halftime, 35-23.
Under the direction of an inspired Samar, who not only shared the game, but also caused fouls and scored from three, the people of Madrid began to see the path to victory clearly after the break, by getting on the ledge from 20 points away ( 46-27, minute 25).
But Casademont was not going to let the party die there. The rojillos put on their work overalls, with Jordan Bone in charge and Deon Thompson inside, although even that was not enough, because with flashes from Eyenga, Jovan Novak or Dusan Ristic, Urbas went to the final set with 15 points income (58-43).
Raventós’ men faced the key moment recovering that defensive intensity that allowed Novak to steal a ball after a triple by Cheatham, adding two good defenses and another rebound in attack to put up the 20 points that were the maximum difference of the match and forced Ponsarnau to stop him (66-46, min. 33).
The talk did not help the coach from Lleida, because Urbas was still firm. Not even a failure in the clock of one of the baskets that paralyzed the game for a few minutes stopped the locals from taking the victory by 22 points (77-55) and between olés of the most animated. The people of Fuenlabrada will return home in less than a week, on Sunday to receive Baskonia, while Zaragoza will receive Unicaja a day earlier at the Príncipe Felipe.
77 – Urbas Fuenlabrada (26+9+23+19): Samar (11), Milosavljevic (3), Meindl (11), Cheatham (16), Alexander (6) -initial quintet-, Novak (11), Eyenga (10), Ristic (9), Bagayoko, López, Lewis and Gonzalez.
55 – Casademont Zaragoza (11+12+20+12): Cook (3), Bone (9), Yusta (9), Radoncic (5), Thompson (6) -starting quintet-, Hlinason, San Miguel (2), Waczynski (10), Vanwjin (9) and Mobley (2 ).
Referees: Benjamin Jimenez, Francisco Araña and Yasmina Alcaraz. Without eliminated.
Incidents: Match of the twentieth day of the Endesa League played at the Fernando Martín Pavilion before 2,156 spectators.