ANDJoventut wants to be seeded in Granada. This was demonstrated by playing an impeccable match in Fuenlabrada against an Urbas team that had been inactive for more than a month due to the covid-19 cases and was unable to put up any resistance beyond the first quarter (82-104).
Add and follow the ‘Penya’ towards the privileged position in the Copa del Rey draw, which they will obtain directly if they win on Sunday at the Palau Blaugrana, or before if Valencia Basket and Baxi Manresa do not meet their objectives.
Unbeatable on the rebound (24-37) displaying their variety of resources with brilliance from their interiors, such as the American Derek Willis (13 points and 5 rebounds) and the Swedish Simon Birgander (10 and 8), with bursts from the American Brandon Paul (17 points) and the direction Ferrán Bassas (18 points and 7 assists) those of Carlos Durán were imposed for clarity on a Fuenlabrada with a month and two days of forced inactivity between cases of covid-19 of others and their own, such as those that made this duel will be adjourned not once, but three times.
After 41 days without seeing live basketball, the Fernando Martín fans enjoyed a fast-paced show at the start of the match.
Joventut found their shooters open, and Fuenlabrada responded with the same medicine (10-10, min. 3). Kwan Cheatham and Jovan Novak (the local top scorer at the end with 17 units) stretched their team halfway through the period, but a late start by Brandon Paul left a tight electronic score at the end of the first quarter (29-28).
The talented outside player from Illinois had only just begun, and at the start of the second quarter he contributed with two three-pointers to an exhibition by Joventut on the run (32-39, min. 12). The local coach Josep María Raventós stopped the match, tried to adjust his defense, but the visitors had already established themselves with a lead of ten points.
Urbas had no way of resisting the variety of resources, between shooters and interior men of Carles Durán’s men, with Birgander and Ante Tomic inside and a plethora of shooters, while the local public was warming up due to the referee’s criteria, especially for a technique to Leo Meindl for ‘flopping’ (faking) by throwing himself on the ground after scoring a triple. Despite everything, the locals managed to retain ‘Penya’ in ten points at the break (49-59).
Carles Durán’s men did not take off their overalls in the locker room. They came out to cancel the game hitting Willis on the inside (6 points and 3 rebounds in this quarter alone), and finished off the job with counterattacks, like the one that Albert Ventura fastened with a triple for the 61-77 that put a fog of discouragement in the local fans (min. 25).
Tomic and Vladimir Brodziansky took over from Willis, while Urbas gave a feeling of ineffectiveness that led the black-and-white -in green and gray tonight- to touch the 20-point advantage with the 67-86 that closed the third set, with sentence scent.
It seemed like a match made, although the young Ziga Samar did believe in the surprise. His enthusiasm infected his teammates, who left Joventut three and a half minutes without scoring to get into the duel (75-86, min. 33).
Birgander and Pau Ribas, with a basket and 2+1 respectively, and then Bassas with a three-pointer, cooled down the local illusion in just a minute and a half (76-96, min. 35) leaving a victory that ended in 82-104 and It leaves them one step away from being seeded in the Copa del Rey in Granada.
82 – Urbas Fuenlabrada (29+20+18+15): Samar (15), Milosavljevic (10), Meindl (13), Cheatham (14), Alexander (7) -starting five-, Novak (17), Bagayoko, Ristic (2), López, Eyenga (2), González ( 2) and Lewis.
104 – Joventut from Badalona (28+31+27+18): Bassas (18), Ribas (16), Parra (7), Willis (13), Tomic (8) -initial quintet-, Vives, Ventura (3), Brodziansky (11), Birgander (10), Paul (17) , Happy (1) and Busquets.
Referees: Martin Caballero, Javier Torres and Jorge Martinez. Eliminated by five personal faults the local Milosavljevic (min. 37).
Incidents: postponed game of the sixteenth day of the Endesa League, played at the Fernando Martín Pavilion in Fuenlabrada (Madrid) before 2,436 spectators.