ORn imposing Valencia Basket overwhelmed Gran Canaria this Friday in a delayed match of the sixteenth day that uneven in the first part with a structure of three ‘big’ and that meant their mathematical classification for the Copa del Rey and the ratification of their firm candidacy to be seeded and that left his rival without options to be in the Granada tournament with his seventh consecutive defeat.
The match started with an agile exchange of baskets in which Gran Canaria took the initiative on the scoreboard thanks to Canadian Dylan Ennis’ ease in scoring but without being able to activate the Artem Pustovyi factor, because the locals closed well on him. But the change in Valencia’s structure, with Xabi López-Arostegui as shooting guard and Louis Labeyrie as forward, altered the script and three triples in a row by the Frenchman generated a 12-0 run that knocked out the visitors (23-17, m.10 ).
Gran Canaria increased the aggressiveness of its defense to try to rebalance the match and although it managed to cut off the offensive fluidity of the locals, it did not recover its own due to the good work of Valencia in its basket and the local advantage grew again with a new triple of Labeyrie and another from the Slovenian Klemen Prepelic. Porfi Fisac’s men began to despair at his inability to score and they paid him back with a technique for protesting (40-24, m.17).
The locals read the weakness of their rival and tried to finish the match before the break. Two new triples, this time by Mike Tobey and the Icelandic Martin Hermannsson, took the local rent to the threshold of twenty points. A couple of actions by a somewhat selfish Ennis did not prevent it (50-30, m.20).
The break served Gran Canaria to change faces. With Sergi Martínez as a point guard and Ilimane and Khalifa Diop as inside partners, they increased their aggressiveness but Valencia did not lose their calm, they intelligently circulated the ball, took advantage of their rival’s need to take risks in each defense and, in fact, made their advantage grow to insular discouragement.
In a much thicker second half due to fouls, the locals did not let go of the helm of the match. With an agile rotation, he found enough energy not to be overwhelmed by his rival and let the minutes go by without ever letting his rival find reasons to believe (68-44, m.30).
A couple of triples by Sam Van Rossom at the start of the fourth quarter gave way to a placid and festive end of the game for the locals that Slaughter’s baskets did not manage to embitter, although they somewhat reduced an advantage that reached thirty points.
91.- Valencia Basketball (23+27+18+23): Hermannsson (5), Prepelic (16), Puerto (-), Pradilla (11), Tobey (12) -five starters- López-Arostegui (5), Van Rossom (10), Dubljevic (11), Jiménez (-) , Rivero (9) and Labeyrie (12).
62.- Gran Canaria (12+18+14+18): Sergi García (2), Ennis (15), Brussino (3), Salvó (3), Pustovyi (6) -five starters- Kramer (5), I. Diop (2), Albicy (2), Slaughter (13) , K. Diop (5), Mutaf (3) and Stevic (3).
Referees: Calatrava, Zamorano, and Sanchez Cutillas. Without eliminated.
Incidents: postponed match corresponding to matchday 16 of the regular phase of the Endesa League played in the Fonteta pavilion, with its capacity reduced to 50% due to the sanitary measures against covid-19, before 3,266 spectators.