Herbalife Gran Canaria also shines in the Endesa League

Sentence to Casademont Zaragoza to touch the playoffs before facing the Eucoup semifinal. Albicy, decisive in the last minutes.


As a good competitor, Herbalife Gran Canaria knew how to wait for its moment to deal the final blow to Casademont Zaragoza (84-76), who for 30 minutes had all the options to win the game and not lose heart in the fight for a playoff that was they may have wandered fatally. With the pass achieved to the F8 of the BCL, permanence becomes the objective in the ACB.

The staging of both teams happened to be a bit run over, perhaps unsettling in the eyes of own and strangers. In the guerrilla war that the first minutes had become, Casademont Zaragoza showed better knowledge of the terrain, as demonstrated by its 2-7 initial favor. However, Gran Canaria reacted quickly, taking the initiative, 8-7, after a triple by Balcerowski, who dares a little more every day, showing traces of the immense talent that hides his tall 216-centimeter body.

Oveja Hernández's boys were then led by Ennis and Brussino, the coach's countryman, and a triple from the latter maintained the equality on the scoreboard: 15-14. The party had not been joined at the moment by Slaughter, the undisputed leader of Herbalife, whose first two points, from the free throw, served to establish a tight 19-16 at the end of the locked first quarter.

The Argentine forward hit two triples at dawn of the second period that, for the moment, prevented any attempt of a local break: 23-22. However, Okoye connected two more to prevent any attempt at a comeback skill, which was lurking after another long shot from Benzing: 29-28.


The Casademont Zaragoza came out answering, which although it did not take the lead on the scoreboard, neither did it allow Herbalife to feel excessively comfortable with it. Like someone stalking their prey, Hernández's boys found their opportunity after the entry into a trance of a vindictive Wiley, who began the course under Porfirio Fisac's orders, after scoring a series of six points in a row to put his own ahead , 37-38, just before Balcerowski, precious the duel of those who were companions does nothing and less, again gave Gran Canaria an advantage, which kept it, although minimal, when it was time to go to the locker room: 41-40.

The locals reigned in the intense beginning of the third quarter. Thus, a triple by Dimsa plus the subsequent mate from Okoye forced Hernández to stop the game with 51-44 on the scoreboard and still 7:19 ahead in this period. The visitors did not react, much less when Okoye once again burst the visiting rim to give his team 60-50, the maximum difference so far. The best minutes of Gran Canaria were then played, who fell asleep and gave Zaragoza. Thus, Ennis took a 2 + 1 from Balcerowski shortly before Barreiro, with a beautiful basket, confirmed the visitor's reaction at the end of the penultimate period: 62-59.

Albicy, vital in the final minutes

With ten minutes to go, and with everything to decide, Herbalife did just what it had to do: wait for the right moment to strike the final blow. He opened the last quarter with a 2 + 1 from Albicy, and Shurna's subsequent triple gave him an important advantage, 68-61, perhaps too much at this stage of the game. Wow it was.

El Granca began to touch the defensive excellence, blocking the access routes to his basket, and a triple by Kilpatrick began to write the v for victory: 73-64. It was time to preserve an advantage that was seriously endangered when Sulaimon unleashed an accurate triple for 77-74, although Albicy, capital in the last minutes, responded from the same distance to, now, sign the sentence of a match that ended 84-76.

After his impeccable recent career in the Eurocup, Gran Canaria has been infected in the domestic competition, and after his victory tonight, which rebuilds his morale before the semifinal with Monaco, he looks to the ACB playoffs, which would seem like a miracle after his depressing start to the season. It also marks distance with a direct rival, a Casademont Zaragoza that must start looking down.

Photos from as.com

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