ANDhe UCAM Murcia Club Baloncesto has already mathematically sealed its classification for the Copa del Rey -now it aspires to be seeded in Granada- after achieving its tenth win in 16 games, beating Lenovo Tenerife 88-86.
He has done it in a match that he dominated from start to finish but in which, how could it be otherwise, he has ended up suffering against a rival who is fighting precisely to be in the cup tournament.
Twenty-seven days after their last match, the university squad faced the clash with the entire squad after an outbreak of coronavirus was left behind and Sadiel Rojas recovered from the injury she was carrying.
The chicharrero team, meanwhile, arrived with the last-minute loss of Emir Sulejmanic.
A 12-3 start with seven points by James Webb marked the duel at the start and that part led to the first timeout requested by Txus Vidorreta.
However, UCAM CB continued on their own and had a 12-point lead (18-6), which fell to eight at the end of the first quarter (23-15).
With Giorgi Shermadini appearing in the grana zone and Bruno Fitipaldo directing with success the result narrowed until 25-24 and the dead time at that moment was requested by Sito Alonso.
The reaction was immediate and after a 35-27 halftime break, the team from Murcia reached +5 (42-37) and interesting open duels with Jordan Davis and Isaiah Taylor on the local side (10 and 8 points) and Dejan Todorovic and Kyle Wiltjer for the visitors (11 and 9).
After the restart, the university team was once again more connected (47-37), but Lenovo, based on triples, held on to the match (49-46).
However, with Webb once again inspired, those from the Segura capital took a breather again and planted themselves in the last period with a cushion of 10 points (66-56).
Thad McFadden, converting three triples in a row, seemed to sentence the clash with the 79-65 and five and a half minutes to play.
The Palace email, with all the expectant public, went on to indicate a more than disturbing 88-85 with just over a minute to play after a 3 + 1 from Fitipaldo. From then until the end there were several local errors, as well as another triple missed by Aaron Doornekamp, ??a free kick scored by Sasu Salin and the final honk to the delight of a team, a club, a city and a region.
Being in the Cup was celebrated as something historic on the field and in the stands.
88. UCAM Murcia Basketball Club (23+19+24+22): Taylor (15), Davis (16), Czerapowicz (4), Webb (16) and Lima (8) -five starting-, Bellas (10), Radovic (4), McFadden (11), Cate (4) and Rojas (-).
86.Lenovo Tenerife (15+22+19+30): Huertas (17), Salin (13), Dejan Todorovic (15), Doornekamp (-) and Shermadini (10) -initial five-, Fitipaldo (12), Sergio Rodríguez (-), Sastre (-), Wiltjer (16) and Fran Guerra (3).
Referees: Daniel Hierrezuelo Navas, Vicente Bultó Estébanez and Iyán González Gálvez. Without eliminated.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the sixteenth day of the Endesa Basketball League that was played at the Palacio de los Deportes de Murcia before 3,727 spectators.