Apparently, few things could unite two boys whose birth dates and places are separated in time by seven years and just over 500 kilometers. But basketball is usually that sport that, allied with destiny, is capable of making the impossible possible.

Because only in this way can it be understood that the ways of the combo Moses Andriassi (2000) and the center Israel Gutierrez (1993) came to cross this past Saturday on the parquet of the Granada Sports Palace. A place away from home in 8,000 kilometers and 7 hours of time difference and in which both players were going to start the fight that will lead only one of them to win the title of champion of the LEB Gold League.

A nice coincidence? Surely, but not the only one, since their paths seem to have passed in parallel throughout the last seasons where they came to share a dressing room last year in the ranks of the Astros of Jalisco and where they even became partners in the debut of Andriassi with the shirt of the Selection of Mexico.

And if you have not yet been able to be surprised by such a host of coincidences, there is still more, since Gutiérrez became fellow student of the older brothers of Moisés in the University… Almost nothing!

A whole path of intertwined coincidences that will have its next chapter either this Thursday on the court of the Pazo (if you ask Moisés) or on the parquet of the Palace (if you ask Israel) and that will arrive with something more than a title in play… With a bet on some succulent tacos!

This is how the protagonists of this curious story reveal it to us …

Andriassi: “Whoever wins will have to pay some good tacos when they return to Mexico”

He was the first of the two to arrive in Spain and he did so at the hands of a Covirán Granada who put his services to the test before being able to permanently incorporate him into the team.

A fact that occurred moments before the winter market closed and that became a wish fulfilled as explained by the Mexican player himself: “It has been a very beautiful experience, for me it is a dream to be able to play in Spain and even more so in a league as competitive as LEB Oro. The adaptation has been very simple thanks to my teammates, the staff and the people who surrounds the club. Together they have made my stay in Granada easier and all this has helped me feel very happy to be able to be in a team that has worked very well and that has deserved to play this final “.

Although, surely, the Nasrid guard-guard could not have imagined, just a few months ago, that his signing in Granada was going to lead him to share the end with an old friend like Israel: “The truth is that it is being something very nice to be able to be here, competing in an entire LEB Gold final and that it could have been against Israel. I consider him a great friend of mine and my family, whom I have seen play and with whom I was sharing a team just a few months ago. Although, at that time, it did not cross to either of us that shortly after we would be playing a final against in Spain. When he called me to tell me that he had the Breogán offer, I tried to advise him as best as possible and I am glad to know that everything has been for the best “.

Two friends turned into “intimate enemies” when they jump on the floor and who, how could it be otherwise, are going to play more than a title on the track: “In the years that we have known each other there has always been a good relationship and the truth is that Israel has helped me a lot in the professional field. Despite this, there is a certain bite between the two, but very healthy. This is a Final so we agreed that whoever won was going to buy some good tacos for the other when they arrived in Mexico “.

And, for this to happen, it would be enough for Moisés to be able to win just one more game, a challenge he is cautiously dreaming of at this time: “It would be very nice to be able to lift the title with this group of people, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself in thinking about that. I think that if we do things as we have been doing, we have a good chance of being able to take the series, but as I mentioned, we are focused on doing things well and we will see how things work out later “.

All to be able to prevail in a confrontation closely followed by Mexican basketball from a distance in which both continue to feel the warmth of their people: “In these days I have noticed a lot the support from Mexico, they write to me on the networks asking about the games and where to watch the games and I also know that most of the media in Mexico are very aware of the final so We hope to make you enjoy the game and have the best possible time ”.

Gutiérrez: “I’ve known him since he was a kid and it’s been a pleasure to share this final”

Well advised by his good friend, Israel arrived in Spain just a few weeks later to enlist in the ranks of a Breogán River with an ambitious project behind him.

A most attractive team and with which this Mexican pivot fulfilled his desire to play in Spain after having enjoyed various opportunities throughout his career: “Some years ago I had had the opportunity to come to Spain with different offers of both LEB Silver and LEB Gold, but due to different circumstances, none of them came to fruition. When the possibility of coming to Lugo arose, it seemed like a good opportunity and for the moment it is not disappointing me since here I am finding a very positive experience both on a personal and professional level. It has been a great success”.

All this despite having to adapt in record time to the demands of a whole moving locomotive such as the Breogán River upon arrival: “The truth is that here they proposed me a role that I had never had since they were looking for a new internal rotation. I decided to accept it with humility and knowing that there would be games in which I could play a little less since the group had been together since the beginning of the season and others in which I was going to have a little more prominence. At the moment I am happy with how everything is going and always ready to help on the track and perform when they need me to help lift the title “.

This is what happened last Saturday and this is how it should happen again next Thursday when his team plays, with the greatest of illusions, the second round for the title: “I see the team very psyched up with everything at stake. From the beginning we knew that it was not going to be an easy road and that in Granada we were going to find a tough opponent and that they were going to force us bad minutes. They took advantage of their home, but now they have to come here, where the support of our fans will weigh heavily in the Pazo. We are going to leave with a lot of energy and thinking only of being able to win that match so that it allows us to have another chance in Granada. We see ourselves with possibilities to overcome that 1-0 and we are going to try in every possible way “.

A clash full of incentives and in which you will meet again with a Moses that you know really well: “The world is very big, but basketball is very small. Just a few months ago we shared a dressing room at the LNBP and look now, fighting each other for a title so far from home. I am a little older and I have known him since he was a kid but the other day it was a pleasure to share a few seconds on the court in Granada and even get to pair up in a play in which I had to defend him with a shot of three. It has been very satisfying to have to face him in this final and see each other so often “.

All this thanks to the shelter of a LEB Gold League that seems to have deceived the Mexican center with its charms: “Personally, I had always followed the ACB or the Euroleague more, but since some offers came to me in previous years I started to be a little more aware of the LEB Gold. I had done research and I liked what I saw, but now I have discovered a competition in which I like the pure and organized basketball that is played. There are not as many games as in Mexico and that allows you to train more, work more on team basketball and be deeper at a tactical level when working on rivals. In these months I have improved, I have strengthened my body and that makes all this experience so worthwhile “.

Sports career – Moisés Andriassi:

Training: Texcoco – Mexico
2019/20: Capitanes CDMX (LNBP – Mexico)
2020/21: Astros de Jalisco (LNBP – Mexico)
2020/21: Covirán Granada (LEB Gold)

Sports career
– Israel Gutiérrez:

Training: Pachuca (Mexico)
2014/15: Halcones Rojos Veracruz (LNBP – Mexico)
2015/16: Knights of Culiacán (LNBP – Mexico)
2015/16: Halcones Rojos Veracruz (LNBP – Mexico)
2015/16: Club Atlético Boca Juniors (LNB – Argentina)
2016/17: Silver Herons of the UAEH (LNBP – Mexico)
2016/17: Club Atlético Argentino (LNB – Argentina)
2017/18: Aguacateros de Michoacán (LNBP – Mexico)
2017/18: Falcons of Ciudad Obregón (LNBP – Mexico)
2018/19: Aguacateros de Michoacán (LNBP – Mexico)
2019/20: Monterrey Regia Force (LNBP – Mexico)
2020/21: Astros de Jalisco (LNBP – Mexico)
2020/21: Breogán River (LEB Gold)