And Rafa Martínez cried again with emotion at La Fonteta

He said goodbye to Bilbao and must ponder whether he hangs his boots or his knees allow him a 'last dance' in Manresa. Unicaja says goodbye to the course by winning.


"Two minutes left, finish well, play well." That imperative came from the mouth of Mumbrú in a dead time in the useless Unicaja-Bilbao Basket. As in many other games that drop the curtain on a year in which there is nothing qualifying at stake, the important thing was more in the gestures than in the baskets. For example, the beautiful farewell to Rafa Martínez. Nothing to do with the taxpayer a year ago, with La Fonteta falling apart for all the people, her people, breaking her hands from so much applause. This time the tribute was heard with the hoarseness of a deserted audience. His colleagues, the rivals of Unicaja, the Tenerife players who were waiting for the next function surrendered to the legend of Santpedor ... and even a tear of the great protagonist emerged. Crying again. It seems a tradition already in June. You must decide whether to leave it or seek a last dance in your beloved Manresa. "It seems that the ovation is a tradition here in Valencia. My future depends on my knees, at the moment I am going home. The decision I make will be the best for me," he confesses. "If in the end he leaves, he does it in a beautiful place, where he has been the flagship, he deserves it," said his coach, happy about this challenge of making his debut on an ACB bench and having taken note. Those who leave Bilbao with the escort are Schreiner, the poor man with a crutch for having been injured in this F12, Sergio Rodríguez and Cruz. And we will have to see what happens to Lammers, because Alba de Aíto is committed to signing him and the clause that he has in RETAbet (he was trying to upload it and extend it for another year) is very affordable. The last game had the sentimental component also of seeing Brown, crossed out of these five games by an injury when the team flew in the regular season. The thorn remains to know what would have become of these people at the top of their lungs, as they were before the pandemic.

Adams and Brizuela were not for nostalgia or tributes and they fastened the triumph in a day in which the people of Bilbao still received one more stick in their long series of absences and misfortunes. Sulejmanovic was unable to act due to an overload on the thigh. He joined as a spectator Schreiner and a Kulboka included in the best young quintet of the ACB. And after his fright, Haws still watched the game from his home, if he has Movistar.

Mumbrú, very pedagogical in a dead time with the kid Miguel Ruiz, wanted to give a candy to Jaylon Brown, another of the heroes of the ascent, operated on the toe and out of action for this F! 2, which was a prize for the group after its excellent campaign. He enjoyed the final 57 seconds of the first half and the first thing he did as soon as he entered the track was to throw his classic shiver at medium distance. He put it in, of course, so at least he appears in a statistic in this interesting round.

Unicaja began to intimidate with his physique in the third quarter. Bilbao basket was kept in a zone 2-3 and then put a 1-3-1 to break the Malaga rhythm. Adams took out his rifle and at 57-47 (with 15:76 to go) he had a 5/6 in triples, with more balance than all Bilbao Basket: 4/17. Bouteille seemed to have at first a moment of courtesy with his former team, which he loves so much, but left a couple of glimpses of those that become so familiar to the inhabitants of Miribilla. Lammers' four fouls (if Aíto has seen the game he still backs down) and the few rotations of centers left Mumbrú with the position. Balvin had to make an extra effort and lend a hand like four a Sergio Rodríguez who has not found the level that he has shown throughout the year in his role as three of refreshment.

Rousselle, the best of the RETAbet in this final phase, was the most determined, in the shot and when looking for the ring in one on one. The Unicaja raised the physical requirement one point, was more active in the arms and went for the victory to close the course with a smile. The final moments served to pay tribute to a great. To Rafa Martínez. "I am very happy with how they treated me in the club and in the city." As well as you have treated basketball, Rafa.



Photos from as.com
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