ANDhe Bitci Baskonia added an important victory in their fight for the classification for the ACB League playoff, prevailing by 93 to 83 against UCAM Murcia in it Buesa Sand. The meeting took place without a clear owner until shortly after intermission, when the locals opened the first important gap (60-50).

Although Sito’s men never gave their arm to twist and came back at the beginning of the last quarter (64-65), their excessive desire for triples and their poor percentages in two-shots and free kicks ended up weighing too much against the push of a starting quintet from Vitoria who signed 89 of the final 93 points. Steven Enoch perfectly assumed the responsibility that the absence of Costello gave him and added 22 points and 7 rebounds. Baldwinwith another 22 and 8 assists, and Fontecchiowith 27 points and 7 triples, were the main executors.

The match began with extreme equality, because although UCAM went ahead 2-6 after baskets from Davies, Lima and Rojasa triple by Fontecchio and a suspension by Baldwin balanced the score (7-7, min.3), beginning a period in which each rival attack was immediately answered by its rival.

Enoch and Baldwin, the latter “chopped” with Jordan Davis-, led the Vitorian offense, while in Murcia it was Lima -until he had to retire due to a bad fall-, the player with the highest production in the visiting attack. A triple on the horn of McFadden canceled a Baskonia min-advantage of 4 points, closing the first period with a 23-22 for the Alava.

Fontecchio He opened the second with 5 consecutive points that opened a small gap, 28-22, while the intensity and temperature increased on both sides of the track. Three techniques -one to the Murcian bench and another two to Bellas and Granger- they blurred what until then had been a great game, changing the rhythm. The one that best adapted was the UCAM, whose rotation contributed much more than the one from Vitoria.

Five triples from Murcia, with Bellas and McFadden as the main weapons, they turned the score around (32-39, min. 16) causing the return to the court of Enoch and Baldwin. With the gala quintet, Baskonia recovered the success and signed a 9-0 to equalize the clash again. Fontecchio, with his fourth triple of the period, would end the first half with the locals ahead, 49-47.

Going through changing rooms did not sit too well with Sito Alonso’s men, especially in attack. A lonely basket webb and a free kick from Lima were the only attacking contributions for UCAM in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. In contrast, Baskonia leaned on the points of peters and in the constant production of an immense Enoch to escape and sign the first serious lead of the night (60-50, min.25).

The Vitorians kept the Murcians at bay until they had to rest again Baldwin. Without their help, the local positional attack got bogged down, which was used by UCAM to return to the game, taking advantage of their greater weight on the rebound (64-59, min.30).

Two consecutive triples webb they culminated the Murcian comeback (64-65) with still eight and a half minutes to play. Spahija reacted by seating an ill-advised grange -who tore his shirt on his way to the bench- and returning Baldwin to the floor. With the American in command, the Baskonia were immediately resurrected. Fontecchio acted as a stiletto in a 13-4 run that left UCAM in a delicate situation (77-68).

A 3+1 of McFadden seemed to reconnect Sito’s men, capable of scoring only from the 6.75 line. Two visiting offensive rebounds became 5 more points for UCAM and a result of 85-80 with only two minutes in the light. The final answer would come from the hand of Baldwinauthor of two suspensions that put ice on the game and the padlock to the Baskonia victory.

Match sheet:

93 – Bitci Baskonia (23+26+15+29): Baldwin (22), Giedraitis (4), Fontecchio (27), Peters (14) and Enoch (22) -five starters-, Sedekerskis (2), Granger (-), Marinkovic (-) and Kurucs (2).

83 – UCAM Murcia (22+25+12+24): Taylor (10), Davis (6), Rojas (2), Webb (18) and Lima (12) -starting five-, Bellas (7), Malmanis (-), Radovic (2), McFadden (16), Cate (5) and Czerapowicz (5).