ANDhe real Madrid became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the Endesa League after winning, with much difficulty, at BAXI Manresa in the Nou Congost, which was a party, 74-83. As Madrid feared, the clash had nothing to do with the first played at the WiZink. The team from Manresa came out with the little energy they have left this season ready to give their fans a great victory and seal a fabulous season with it. The Madrid, invited to the party, prevented it. Actually, he was prevented by the stellar appearance of a great Gabi Deck that, when Manresa pressed the hardest, he threw the team on his back.

The ‘Tortoise‘ broke into the fourth period just as BAXI began to knock down Madrid. A 15-2 run turned a white lead that threatened to break the game, 48-57, min 28, into a partial victory for the locals, 63-59, min 34, which turned the Nou Congost into a pressure cooker. At the end of the dead time that Laso had requested, Deckof three, achieved the first basket for Madrid in the last quarter.

It was Deck’s first blow, then came his recital in the last four minutes. With 67-66 and Moneke and Thomasson Exhausting his last strength, the Argentine from Madrid began to produce knowing that the shot of three was once again a conviction (1 of 7 in that quarter). With penetrations in which he surpassed Moneke, Deck signed 8 of Madrid’s next 10 points (with two three-point plays) placing the score at a favorable 72-78 that began to print the ticket to the semifinals for Laso’s men.

Deck was so left over that in that final stretch of the game he even played base, raising the ball, directing the team and generating good plays that ended in a basket. Llull had time to sign the assist with which he became the best passer in the history of the Playoffs and Causeur sealed the Whites’ victory from the three-point line.

With the match decided, the final seconds served to honor Rafael Martinez in his last game as a professional. The Nou Congost on their feet, players and referees applauding the Manresa captain and he, excited, returned the tribute with the humility that he has always had, and leaving an indelible memory in the history of Spanish basketball.

Data sheet:

74 – Baxi Manresa (21+18+14+21): Badio (-) Thomasson (16), Vaulet (4), Moneke (11), Bako (16) -starting five- Dani Pérez (-), Francisco (12), Rafa Martínez (5), Maye (6), Steinbergs (-), Valtonen (2) and Sima (2).

83-Real Madrid (25+16+18+24): Hanga (8), Deck (14), Yabusele (16), Tavares (6) -starting five-, Llull (11), Causeur (10), Poirier (9), Taylor (-), Randolph (-) and Rudy (9).