Air for Movistar Students

The collegiate team beat Retabet Bilbao with suffering after squandering a 15-point lead in the third quarter. Barea and Gentile, keys.


Air. Movistar Estudiantes got a lot of air this Sunday morning in their fight for permanence. Not only because of the victory (key) against a direct rival for permanence like Retabet Bilbao, which is worth two (victory and the average), but also because he knew how to dance on the wire again by squandering a +15 (66-51 , minute 27) to survive. It wasn't Gran Canaria this time, it was Santiago.

And it was thanks to Roberson, Barea and Gentile. The first shook off the pressure with five points in a row with the water to his neck (from 86-85 to 91-86), while the second sentenced with an action almost traced to that of San Sebastián (93-89), which the schoolboys they did not throw it away. For this, the greats are signed. The Italian, for his part, on his return after COVID, finished with 7 points and 11 rebounds, and put a stopper on Hakanson that dashed his rival's hopes. One more day of tachycardia at the WiZink Center.

The six victories with which each team woke up wrote the script for the clash. Equality in classification. And equality throughout the duel, except for the collegiate break in the third quarter. Both stretched and contracted with fuzzy partials, very limited. Movistar hit first (7-4) to receive an immediate response: 9-12 after a triple by Jenkins. The American (15 points and a PIR of 14) is the best that Mumbrú has along with the enormous Balvin: 11 points and 10 rebounds for a PIR of 23. Everything pivots on them. Kulboka disappeared more than appeared and the Basques were shipwrecked on the perimeter: 5/17 at halftime, 7/29 to finish. A death sentence despite his 10 more rebounds (32-42) with 8 more offenses (10-18). The schoolboys, a terrific 11 of 19 from the perimeter with 3/4 of Alec Brown. The American has refined his rifle.

Without Balvin, Bilbao is less Bilbao. And Arteaga took advantage of his first absence: six points in a row (21-16) topped by a triple by Djurisic (24-18). The Montenegrin is looser with Cuspinera. The collegiate advantage was forged with a Barea fought with the referees: his shot waiting for contact from the opponent's back (a classic) was not penalized. And the Puerto Rican despaired, while Gentile was confused with errors in the pass and in the boat. Also forcing the one against one in a group that seeks a greater group game. Jenkins closed a pristine second quarter with 9 points and a 4/4 on the shot (a triple). The result, 44-43. Equality.

From the maxim to suffering

The return was collegial. Defense and running. The two spearheads that Cuspinera wants to establish in his own appeared with a colossal Vicedo: he took the world by storm and led the partial 10-4 with 6 points (two 2 + 1) for the Estu to reach the maximum (66 -51). The forward has been through a lot this season (and the previous ones as well) because of the coronavirus, but every day he is better on both sides of the court.

After the climb came the eternal fall. Downhill also. Rivals smell it and nothing works. In one minute, 0-7 for Bilbao with Rousselle, from gallop to gallop. In two, 1-10 and the French in the center. In five, 8-18 for a very open 74-69 before starting the last quarter. The ghosts of Gran Canaria appeared, especially when Brown decided to lash out.

Balvin got big and Arteaga disappeared for five fouls with four minutes remaining. Alarms sounded at the WiZink Center. Very bad looking. Although Retabet never finished. He had his options just one point down on different occasions with the Czech giant taking advantage of each and every opportunity. But the student calm and the hands of Barea and Gentile closed the waterway. Student happiness. 2-2 for Cuspinera since he took the ship. Seventh of the year for schoolboys, while Bilbao is left with six. The fight for not relegation continues.

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