ANDhe Urbas Fuenlabrada put Baskonia in a lot of trouble, who needed three quarters to get behind the wheel of a game that was very uphill due to the great tactical approach of Raventós. Their commitment to zonal defense, always after the basket in the rival ring, and the success of players such as Meindl or Cheatham, allowed the visitors to control the rhythm of the game until well into the third period (51-59, min.26). The people from Vitoria found the solution to their problems from the Granger-Costello-Enoch trio, whose communion was key in the local comeback of the last 14 minutes. The point guard finished with 18 points and 7 assists, while Enoch would sign 23 points and 9 rebounds in just 19 minutes on the court. Meindl, with a PIR of 31, was the best in the Madrid ranks.

The return of Baskonia to the Buesa Arena, in official competition and with the public, was resolved with a great offensive success in the first possessions. Thus, a triple by Granger midway through the first quarter allowed the Vitoria to double their rival (16-8, min.6). The Fuenlabreños did not decompose, however, and thanks to Leo Meindl in the attack and Raventós’ commitment to a zonal defense after a basket that choked the locals, the difference was reduced to nothing after a triple by Bagayoko at end of the first quarter (23-23).

A pair of 3-pointers from Fontecchio and Granger seemed to put Baskonia into the fast lane early in the second period, though they would be in for more than a brief spark. Without using a pure base at any time -Armand occupied that position in the starting five and Álex López was the one who gave him rest later-, the visitors ended up turning the scoreboard and thanks to free throws from Emegano and Alexander they accumulated a small advantage (32-35, min. 16). Nnoko on the inside, a triple from Kurucs and a basket from Giedraitis would close the first half with Baskonia ahead, but with worse sensations than their rival (42-41).

Those sensations were transformed into reality as soon as the meeting resumed. With a dazzling Meindl and an infallible Cheatham from the triple, Fuenlabrada dynamited the game by taking advantage of the Basque jam in 5×5 to take a maximum difference of 8 points (51-59, min. 25). The local reaction came from the hand of his inner game, from the moment Enoch and Costello met on the court. Two triples from the former Gran Canaria player gave a solution to the positional attack, while the physical superiority and the connection with Granger from the former player from Obradoiro generated the first cracks in the Fuenlabreño scheme (70-65, min.30).

The Uruguayan point guard, full of confidence and success, definitely took command of the match at the start of the last quarter. He scored, directed and assisted, with the Baskonia interiors being the most benefited from this (86-76, min. 36). Those from Raventós tried everything, including a rise in defensive lines, but the game was already unraveled. Two triples, one from Armand and the other from López, helped the difference not end up shooting, although victory was already far from their reach.

Data sheet:

95 – Baskonia (23 + 19 + 28 + 25): Baldwin (8), Marinkovic (5), Giedraitis (12), Sedekerskis (-) and Nnoko (12) -starting five-, Granger (18), Fontecchio (3), Enoch (23), Costello (11) and Kurucs (3).

86 – Urbas Fuenlabrada (23 + 18 + 24 + 21): Armand (6), Emegano (11), Meindl (23), Cheatham (15) and Alexander (10) -starting five-, Ristic (13), Bagayoko (5), Álex López (3) and Eyenga (-).

Referees: Carlos Peruga, Luis Miguel Castillo and Carlos Merino. Without eliminated.

Incidents: Second day of the Endesa League played at the Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria before 6,083 spectators, with 60% of the total capacity enabled.

Via Marca.com