A firm and applied Valencia overwhelmed Madrid at La Fonteta and forced the tiebreaker in search of a place in the ACB League final. Labeyrie, Tobey and Dubljevic imposed their power against a rival unstitched and misaligned by the losses (85-67). Laso’s, who reached 84 games in a season for the first time in their history, lost the first away game in the entire league season and were once again doomed to the wire in a journey as tortuous as it was meritorious, always on the edge. Valencia, in the 200th meeting of Ponsarnau on the bench taronja, the tribute was given to return the series to Madrid. The pulse is balanced, with the whites pending the medical part and the Valencianists, to stretch their competitive strength to fight for the title.
Valencia applied intensity and dynamism to their plan from the beginning. With Van Rossom and Vives sharing the leadership, and San Emeterio, Dubljevic and Williams building the amendment purpose regarding the first game on defense and rebound. Madrid responded with the grace of Carroll and, immediately, Juan Núñez came out again with his just turned 17 years to help drain water. From 10-3 to 18-16. But the taronja team made the difference at the end of the first quarter with a handful of counterattacks in the face of the imbalances of their rival (24-18, m. 10) and did not slow down in their run.
Once the battle of rhythm was won, the next turn of the screw helped Ponsarnau’s men to undo the score definitively (37-24, m. 17). Causeur had to lean his shoulder in the direction and lost the success that oxygenated Madrid in attack in the first episode of the series. Prepelic and Labeyrie were in charge of continuing to feed the Valencian boiler and the whites began to suffer from the high pressure and the defensive voracity of the locals. A triple by Hermannsson on the half-time horn crowned Valencia’s vibrant first half (44-29, m. 20). “Our success has been defense and giving them only two offensive rebounds,” analyzed Ponsarnau. By then, the turnovers, the poor shooting percentages and the lack of fluidity were the ballast of a very bruised Madrid.
In its forced and constant transformation, Madrid have turned to 20 players this season. Tisma was loaned out to Betis, and Campazzo and Deck made the Americas bound for Denver and Oklahoma. And six other members of the squad (Llull, Laprovittola, Abalde, Felipe, Thompkins and Randolph) are on leave. To complete a call-up of 11 at La Fonteta, Laso again turned to the juniors, Núñez and Tristan Vuckcevic, 17 and 18 years old (two of the 16 junior players in these 10 courses). In addition, Rudy was touched to the appointment and Alocén also suffered a blow during the match. In front, a vigorous and concentrated Valencia, conjured to take advantage of the enemy’s fissures, with Dubljevic and Tobey reinforcing the percussion. Madrid did not find resources or cracks. Van Rossom closed all the roads to Carroll and the Valencian income grew to the border of 20 points (48-29, m. 22). The maximum came later (80-56, m. 35).
Madrid resisted a few more moments, with more mettle than success, and managed to lower the disadvantage to -11 (59-48, m. 29). But the problems at the base position, from Núñez’s inexperience to Causeur’s lack of adaptation, once again brought down Laso’s team, unable to get out of the quagmire. Labeyrie consolidated the undisputed dominance of Valencia (70-50, m. 32) and the tie was even, pending the tiebreaker this Thursday in Madrid.