It's for you, Miki!

Valencia Basket achieved their 11th victory in the Euroleague, moments after learning about the death of legend Miki Vukovic. Another Serb, Kalinic was the best.

It's-for-you-Miki!

Shortly after the initial jump it was known that Valencia Basket legend Miki Vukovic had passed away. And without knowing it, the players gave him a tribute on the field, which he liked the most. During most of the duel, Valencia embroidered the defense and made the most of the choral game, two of the leitmotifs of the successful teams that formed the taronja myth in both men's and women's basketball.

Casualities of fate, it was another Serb who drove the taronja machinery to the final goal. Nikola Kalinic scored (14 points), distributed (7 assists) and, above all, he was the leader of a team that had run out of two of its referents, Dubljevic and Prepelic, this one low at the last minute. Van Rossom also shone, very complete (21 valuation); in addition to Labeyrie (16 points) and Tobey (13 + 5) who dominated the paint despite the insistence of a combative O'Bryant (21 points and 3 rebounds). The triumph restores confidence to the Valencian team and puts them back into the fight for the Top-8, a real objective that they have been achieving almost throughout the course.

Valencia signed 17 initial minutes close to perfection. With a suffocating defense to the Red Star that greatly missed Jordan Loyd, and a supreme effectiveness in the launch, the taronjas were always with substantial advantages in the electronic. First with the Kalinic-Williams couple scoring, then with the effectiveness of San Emeterio's outside shot and throughout the game with the versatility of Labeyrie, who did a lot of damage to the Red Star centers. The Balkans made the rubber although Valencia, point by point, stretched the advantage. Sastre had a free kick to make it +18 with 2:47 left by the break. He failed it and the Serbs chained two triples that were the prelude to a 2-12 partial until the break that left the local advantage in almost nothing (49-42) for what had been seen during most of the first act.

The Red Star had believed it and especially O'Bryant, who did a lot of damage inside. Six points in a row from the pivot made it 53-48. Danger. And two triples from Williams and Colom brought the income back to +5. In that moment, Kalinic realized it was better than any of his markers. Actually, I had known for a long time. And he began to score. No one could stop it. Diagonally with the right, with the left, tracing the baseline ... Colom kept his team afloat with a triple. 68-57, with a quarter to play.

However, Valencia knew that this match could not be escaped if they wanted to get back into the fight for the top-T. Sastre's two inning baskets gave the locals the necessary confidence to face the last quarter with a ditch. The rival trusted Colom's yo-yo but through La Fonteta they know the Andorran well and managed to stop him. After a couple of good deeds from Williams, the game stayed at home (the first in the Euroleague against Estrella Roja) after a robbery by Sastre that culminated in a triple from the Spaniard (83-69, min. 37). From there, the advantage did not grow any more.



Photos from as.com
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