Valencia wakes up very late and relies on third parties again

The taronjas stumble after three lousy quarters against Olympiacos de Printezis and Sloukas and complicate their qualification for the quarterfinal playoff.


Valencia Basket hit the backfire on the day that it had everything to face to beat for the first time an Olympiacos who did not play anything and get into the top-8 with two days to go. The defeat leaves the taronjas with one foot out of the competition. The sublime last quarter (38-14), desperately, at least leaves good feelings. Now it depends on winning against Alba and Baskonia and that Real Madrid or Zenit do not win everything they have left. Accounts get too complicated.

The taronjas were only inside the game in the first quarter, playing balls inside and without abusing the triple. But from there everything went wrong. Just when it was time to face. Not the guards in management, not the shooters, not the tall men. Nobody was up to the task until everything was lost in a duel in which it seemed that those who were risking their lives, in the first three quarters were Bartzokas's men. Printezis (18 points and 6 rebounds), Vezenkov (19 points and 6 sacks) and Sloukas (8 points and 11 assists) massacred the taronjas. San Emeterio, with 11 points in 15 minutes, was the best of the locals.

Valencia Basket seemed to come out with clear ideas. A mirage. After an initial triple by Vives, he began to put the balls down. There Williams, Kalinic and Tobey warned the Greeks, receiving over the rim although they soon corrected. As always when they step on the Fonteta, Olympiacos did not come to Valencia to walk. After a basket to the low post by Tobey that made it 12-9, they chained a 0-10 partial, with two triples from Velenkov and Printezis, who froze a thick taronja block (12-19, min. 8). Only the departure of Van Rossom gave Valencia some life. Four points from the Belgian and a triple from Sastre again leveled the fight but a mate from Koufos on the horn returned to put the +4 for Bartzokas at the end of the first act.

This play was a continuation of what happened in the second period. Olympiacos really believed it. Valencia, very thick. In the first four and a half minutes he barely made a triple by Sastre, on the possession horn. Now it was the Greeks who were doing damage to the painting, with Spanoulis directing the operations. A partial of 4-13 at the beginning made things very difficult for the taronjas (23-36, min. 14). Not even the free ones bailed out those of Ponsarnau who insisted on failing from the line when points were scarce. Jean-Charles was wreaking havoc on painting. Six in a row by the Frenchman and a penetration by Vezenkov put the maximum (28-44), with 1:24 remaining for the break. A Labeyrie 3-pointer and a pair of good defenses minimized the unstitch at half-time.

It was key to get focused the first few plays to try the comeback. But Valencia did the opposite. Asleep and without an alarm clock. When they wanted to give account, Printezis had already killed the game, with seven consecutive points, the house brand, with little local intimidation. In attack the nerves entered and each shot was a tear. The 5-22 run was devastating. With 15 minutes to go, the most important duel in recent years was decided. The only question was how long the Helena lead would last. The advantage of the rojiblanco team reached +33 in the third quarter.

The last act was all the rest of the game should have been. With bullfighting shame and with everything lost, the partial became 29-5, with San Emeterio leading an impossible comeback, although it was of no use because the Helena advantage was sidereal. Valencia approached seven points but time ran out. The numbers say it all: 41 points in the first three quarters, 38 in the fourth. It is time to win the two that remain and dream of a very complicated but not impossible carom.

Photos from
Powered by Blogger.