ANDhe Bitci Baskonia added its third consecutive victory at the expense of Surne Bilbao Basket, whom it defeated 101-89 in a Basque derby that had not been played in the Vitoria fiefdom, with an audience, for 4 years (December 9, 2017). The locals, although they came to the break dominating (50-37), could not certify the victory until the last period due to the success of Khyri Thomas -23 points in his debut- and Mustache -13 of his 16 goals in the second half-. The great game in attack of the Baskonia bases, who signed 57 points between them, ended up deciding the fate of a duel in which Giedraitis and Hakanson were killed at the last minute.
Two 3-pointers by rookie Khyri Thomas and Delgado’s paint job gave the visitors a first lead (7-10) midway through the first quarter. Although Sedekerskis and Fontecchio took command in attack so that Baskonia did not disengage, the local interior defense could not prevent the baskets in the paint, this time from Withey and Inglis (16-18, min. 9). Two triples, one from Fontecchio, and another from Costello’s own court, closed the first period with a 22 to 18 for the Vitoria players.
The Italian forward opened a small gap (25-18) with a 2 + 1 as soon as the second quarter started, coinciding with Rouselle’s wrist injury, a circumstance that led him to the locker room immediately, never to return. Those of Mumbrú did not fall apart, however, signing a 0-7 in the blink of an eye that returned equality to the scoreboard (25-25).
The exchange of baskets kept the balance until the appearance of Kurucs, who had not scored since the arrival of Spahija but who chained 10 almost consecutive points that put the locals on fire. With the Baskonia launched, Granger and Baldwin IV took advantage of the rival’s difficulties in the base position to add more salt to the wound (50-37, min.20).
Thomas erupted after passing through the changing rooms, scoring 12 points in just 5 minutes that returned the Biscayns to the game. Baldwin IV tried to counter his opponent’s success, but found no support from any of his teammates. Thomas, on the other hand, counted on the emergence of Bigote, who from the outside success tightened the game until he left it in a single possession (65-62, min. 28).
An 11-2 run between the end of the third and last quarters seemed to definitely hit Bilbao Basket, which also saw how its best man, Thomas, had to go to the bench after a collision with Fontecchio that left him stunned and required medical care. A triple by Reyes tightened the score for the last time (85-78, min. 37), but Baskonia took advantage of the wear and tear of their rival to give the last pedal stroke from the hand of a Baldwin who ended up applauded by the stands.
101 – Bitci Baskonia (22 + 28 + 21 + 30): Granger (17), Baldwin (26), Fontecchio (19), Sedekerskis (6) and Enoch (8) -starting five-, Lamar Peters (4), Marinkovic (4), Costello (5), Nnoko (2) and Kurucs (10).
86 – Surne Bilbao Basket (18 + 19 + 26 + 23): Rousselle (-), Thomas (23), Mustache (16), Masiulis (2) and Delgado (10) -starting five-, Peno (4), Inglis (13), Basterrechea (-), Reyes (6), Witney (12), Monje (-), and Chacón (-).
Referees: Carlos Cortés, Martín Caballero and Esperanza Mendoza. A technical foul was reported to visiting coach Álex Mumbrú (min.19) and Inglis (min.37). They eliminated Peno for personal fouls (min.38).
Incidents: match corresponding to the thirteenth day of the Endesa League played at the Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria before 7,032 spectators.