ANDhe Brazilian Leo Meindl, with 14 points, this Friday rescued Urbas Fuenlabrada from the reaction in the second half of UCAM Murcia, which they dominated by up to 20 points before the break, but whose aggressiveness came to put them within a span of winning the tournament friendly of the Fuenlabrada parties (96-94).
Running is not going to be enough for Urbas, who had fun in the first half but received a valuable lesson from UCAM in the second: they need answers against closed and aggressive defenses like the one proposed by the university team, which added to their effort back to a Thad McFadden on a roll (17 points and 5 triples of 10).
With the pleasant sound for the first time in a year and a half of the noisy Fuenlabran fans, this time reduced to 720 spectators in their reunion with Fernando Martín, the locals took off with a partial 7-0 (22-10), with those of always dominating the duel: the Nigerian Obi Emegano (16 points at the end), the Canadian Kyle Alexander (19 and 4 rebounds at the end) and Meindl (14 and 4).
Fuenlabrada and Murcia are two teams that have opted for continuity: three signings from Madrid, two from Murcia, seven renewals each. The Madrilenians were comfortable in the game of rapid transitions promised by their coach, Josep María Raventós, in front from the beginning after achieving salvation, and the first quarter they prevailed with a 30-20.
At the start of the second, they began to show themselves to the local signings: the Serbian center Dusan Ristic (11 points at the end) showed his arguments to add in attack putting his own 15 points up after a basket with an additional shot (40-25, min 13).
Neither the American Isaiah Taylor (8 points at the end) nor the triples of the Greek Kostas Vasileiadis (5) allowed Sito Alonso to stop the races of Fuenlabrada, who called his team to the bank when he saw that locals in three minutes extended the advantage to 19 points (49-30). With Montenegrin Nemanja Radovic (13 points and 9 rebounds at the end) and Brazilian Augusto Lima (9 and 5 rebounds) in the paint, they gained intimidation and subtracted to go 58-42 at halftime.
Alonso should have asked his team to be aggressive, who came out strong in robbery and sometimes past revolutions, but better settled in defense. The task was finished by one of the few Murcian signings, McFadden, with a festival: a steal, a basket and three triples of six (76-68, min. 29) against a Fuenlabrada frozen in defense and attack that went to the last set with nine of rent.
UCAM continued: 3-pointers from Radovic and McFadden again and a basket from Davis that equalized the duel (78-78 min. 33). Meindl tried to pull his own, but the good Murcian defense covered most of the gaps and the American James Webb finished the job with a triple (84-85, min. 36).
When Sito Alonso’s men had everything to uncheck themselves, they found themselves with bad fortune: an ‘alley-oop’ that came from within Webb or a slap from the Romanian Emanuel Cate -who made a great game with 17 points and 6 rebounds- that slid off the rim.
Free throws and a triple by Leo Meindl punished the visitors for not finishing the task, and a tray from the Brazilian finished off a suffered local victory, despite the fact that UCAM had up to two triple attempts in the last play to win. Third triumph from Fuenlabrada at the end of its preseason and third defeat for Murcia, who will still play one more friendly, on Sunday in Yecla (Murcia) against Baxi Manresa, before starting the Endesa League.
96 – Urbas Fuenlabrada (30 + 28 + 19 + 19): Samar (2), Emegano (16), Meindl (14), Cheatham (11), Alexander (19) -initial quintet-, Armand (7), Ristic (11), López (10), González, Novak (2) and Bagayoko (4).
94 – UCAM Murcia (20 + 22 + 26 + 26): Taylor (8), McFadden (17), Rojas (2), Radovic (13), Lima (9) -the starting five-, Davis (7), Webb (8), Bellas (8), Cate (17), Czerapowicz and Vasielaidis (5).
Referees: Rafael Serrano, Alfonso Olivares and Carlos Merino. Local Samar eliminated by five personal registrations (min. 35).
Incidents: friendly match corresponding to the Fuenlabrada Festival Tournament, played at the Fernando Martín Pavilion in Madrid, before 720 spectators.