ANDhe Brazilian point guard Rafa Luz, with a layup four seconds from the end, gave Surne Bilbao Basket the victory against Casademont Zaragoza at the Príncipe Felipe Pavilion in the Aragonese capital and brought Alex Mumbrú’s team closer to a few play-off positions ‘ with whom they are tied for victories although having played one more game.
The defeat, for its part, forces Dragan Sakota’s men to continue fighting for a permanence that they would have almost ensured had Adam Wazcynski’s last desperate shot hit the buzzer and that, however, is well advanced with his two advantage victories over Hereda San Pablo Burgos and MoraBanc Andorra with just three days to go.
It was a very even match and with alternatives on the scoreboard that was decided in the final heads or tails in favor of a Bilbao Basket in which, in addition to Luz, Angel Delgado stood out (10 points, 13 rebounds and a PIR of 20). and Damien Inglis (15, 5 and 19) and shooting guard Andrew Goudelock (14).
Among the locals the best were Sean Kilpatrick (16 and 17) and his triples and the work throughout the match by Tryggvi Hlinason (15, 6 and 22) and Santi Yusta (10 and 13).
Zaragoza got off to a better start, with two baskets by Hlinason and Yusta (4-0), but Bilbao Basket reacted supported by the inside game and went ahead three times (7-10, 10-12, 12-14) with a triple by Walker and two baskets by Inglis and Withey.
Cook appeared in the game to, taking advantage of a couple of errors by Goudelock, give his team a stretch at the end of the first quarter (20-14).
A three-pointer by Kilpatrick at the start of the second quarter gave the team a nine-point lead (23-14), which not only wiped out those in black, but also turned the score around to go five points up with a 4-18 drive by Inglis and a Delgado who was going to rebound per minute (27-32).
Those in red got their act together and in a couple of minutes, with Ferrari on the field and Kilpatrick hitting the right shots, they overcame the Bilbao comeback with a 9-0 (36-32) and reached the break ahead (41-38) of a shock, however, with everything to decide.
Bilbao Basket was better in the third quarter led first by Masiulis and then by Goudelock against Zaragoza in which Hlinason and, above all, Yusta held on. But the visitors were reducing the disadvantage and then acquiring their own to reach the last quarter 6 up (58-64) thanks to a 17-26 run throughout the third.
But six points followed by Thompson in the first minute and a half of the fourth quarter gave way to a new game of eight and a half minutes (64-64).
Those in black -in white this Sunday- left again with six (64-70) but two triples by Wazcynski and Kilpatrick equalized and the match headed for a final heads or tails from which Bibao Basket benefited with the final basket by Rafael Luz.
80 – Casademont Zaragoza (20+21+17+22): San Miguel, Bone (4), Yusta (10), Radoncic (6) and Hlinason (15) -initial five-; Ferrari (5), Cook (5), Kilpatrick (16), Wazcynski (3), Thompson (10) and Mekowuku (6).
82 – Surne Bilbao Basket (14+24+26+18): Rafa Luz (5), Goudelock (14), Walker (6), Masiulis (13) and Delgado (10) -initial five-; Rousselle (3), Hakanson (4), Reyes (2), Inglis (15) and Withey (10).
Partials: 20-14, 41-38 (rest); 58-64 and 80-82 (final).
Referees: Emilio Pérez Pizarro, Arnau Padrós and Andrés Fernández. They eliminated Rousselle for fouls (m.35).
Incidents: Matchday 31 of the Endesa Basketball League played at the Príncipe Felipe Pavilion before 5,937 spectators, according to official statistics.