ANDl Baxi Manresa, led by an immeasurable Joe Thomasson, author of 33 points and who distributed six assists to reach a PIR of 35, remains firm in the fight for the top positions in the Endesa League and, after winning by 103-93 against UCAM Murcia occupies fourth place, one victory behind second, while the university team leaves the playoff positions by losing eighth position in favor of Gran Canaria.

The Manresa team started with momentum and a three-pointer by Thomasson made them lead with an 11-4 and seven points from the American shooting guard.

Sito Alonso did not take long to ask for his first time-out, but the situation did not improve for his team (20-8 at the halfway point of the first quarter with the Catalan team scoring very smoothly).

The match was going very well for Pedro Martínez’s men, but the bad news came when Dani Pérez stepped on James Webb and sprained his right ankle. This loss in the match was added to those of another point guard like Sylvain Francisco and that of forward Juampi Vaulet.

Despite this, the inertia of those from Bages allowed them to lead by 13 points (33-20) and close the period with 36-24 with a triple by the young Marcis Steinergs at the buzzer that led the teams to the first mandatory break of the shock.

Dani Pérez returned to the track, although he did so with a limp and only 15 seconds later he left the track when he saw that his foot was not in good condition.

UCAM CB, aware that conceding 36 points in a quarter could do little, tightened the screws on their rival and that improvement at the back and Thad McFadden’s triples made them quickly recover (38-32).

However, the lack of consistency in the granas led them to concede a 7-0 run that returned the +13 in favor of the Catalans (45-32).

Thomasson, with 18 points and four assists in 14 minutes on court and barely resting a couple of them due to outside casualties, continued to masterfully guide his team to obtain the maximum advantage so far (50-35).

Luke Maye, with a 2+1, two triples, another basket and a free throw in a short space of time, maintained the level and increased the Manresa difference, which reached 16 points (57-41) and they stayed in 14 at the break (63-49).

The intermission seemed to suit UCAM CB better, which finally found the right defensive tone in a match of these characteristics and was eight points behind (63-55), but the attack hit them just when they were ready to put pressure on it to his rival. An 18-9 from then on again distanced Baxi with its new maximum income, which made it reach the last quarter with an 81-64 close to being conclusive.

The last quarter started with the clear feeling that Pedro Martínez’s men had absolute control of the situation, but the self-esteem of those from the capital of Segura made them cling to the match and went from 83-64 to 90-81 already inside of the last five minutes after the four triple converted by McFadden.

The Murcians, running, got fully into the fight for victory (92-85 and possession three minutes from the end), but between Thomasson and Ismael Bako they ensured the local victory without too many shocks.

Data sheet:

103. Baxi Manresa (36+27+18+22): Dani Pérez (-), Thomasson (33), Valtonen (4), Moneke (13) and Bako (16) -five starting-, Naspler (2), Steinbergs (3), Rafa Martínez (2), Maye (19) , Sima (11) and Sagnia (-).

93. UCAM Murcia Basketball Club (24+25+15+29): Taylor (14), Davis (12), Rojas (10), Webb (9) and Lima (15) -five starting-, Bellas (6), McFadden (15), Radovic (8), Cate (4), Czerapowicz (-) and Vasileiadis (-).

Referees: Juan Carlos García González, Arnau Padrós Feliu and Iyán González Gálvez. They eliminated visitors Bellas (m.38) and Webb (m.39) for five personal fouls.

Incidents: Match corresponding to the twenty-ninth day of the Endesa Basketball League that was played in the Nou Congost pavilion in Manresa before 4,785 spectators.

Via Marca.com