ANDhe Monbus Obradoiro took a step forward in its fight for permanence by beating Bitci Baskonia and adding the eighth victory of the season. The Santiago team went from less to more, raising the pace of the game after the break, led by Beliauskas, author of 22 points thanks to a six of eight triples, and Ellenson, with another 19 goals.
The clash began with little rhythm and success. Giedraitis put Baskonia ahead with a 2+1 after four missed shots between both teams. Birutis broke the ice for the hosts, though mistakes followed. The team from Vitoria took possession of the rebound from the start and captured seven in attack in the first quarter. Costello had four points and Thomas Scrubb responded. The defense of Moncho Fernández’s pupils, who did not have Álex Suárez or Álvaro Muñoz, took a step forward, congesting the Barça team’s offense. Robertson and Ellenson put Obradoiro ahead for the first time (12-11, min. 8).
The starters progressively gave way to substitutes. Enoch took to the court in front of his former teammates and put a spectacular block on Ellenson under the rim. Vicedo and Beliauskas, who converted the three triples he attempted in the first half, led Obra’s best minutes with 13 consecutive goals between them. Fontecchio and Granger, who left the fight prematurely, sought a reaction from the Baskonia squad, although another four points came from Birtus (29-21, min. 17).
Phil Scrubb made his debut with the Obradoirista team and Costello was forced to go to the bench after committing his third foul. Giedraitis cut the difference with an unlikely basket and Thomas Scrubb took advantage of Zurbriggen’s assist after a back door to hit the buzzer.
Obradoiro accelerated the game after the break. Robertson scored seven points and Hellenson another eight in the third period. Opposite, Enoch, who had left the locker room at halftime without having scored, took over the reins of the Vitorian team’s attack with 12 goals. Kurucs chained five in suspension, minimizing the difference of the Compostelan team.
Ellenson, with eight points, and Birutis hurt the paint early in the fourth quarter. Baldwin responded with another ten points that tied the score (63-63, min. 35). Then Beliauskas reappeared, author of 13 goals that dynamited the clash. Hobbs was crucial from defense and direction in the final stretch to secure a vital win for Monbus Obradoiro.
81 – Monbus Obradoiro (17+16+242+26): Hobbs (3), Robertson (11), Thomas Scrubb (8), Ellenson (19) and Birutis (12) -starting team- Zurbriggen, Beliauskas (22), Vicedo (6) and Philip Scrubb.
76 – Bitci Baskonia (16+14+24+22): Baldwin (20), Fontecchio (4), Giedraitis (13), Peters (4) and Costello (10) -starting team- Granger (3), Sedekerskis (2), Steven Enoch (12), Raieste (1), Marinkovic (2) and Kurucs (5).
Referees: Juan Carlos Garcia Gonzalez, Francisco Arana and Carlos Merino
Incidents: Match corresponding to matchday 24 of the Endesa league played at the Multiusos Fontes do Sar in front of some 3,500 spectators.