To win, when the wind blows in your favor, anyone gets used to it; to compete you have to be worth it. The nights that the development of the game becomes cloudy, that the circulation of the ball gets dirty, that you kick the ball on your foot, you stumble while running, you are late to defend … those foul nights in which even your coach loses The head are the ones that end up turning you into a fearsome team if you are able to carry them out, the ones that open the door to the finals, the ones that write your story and expand it.
The HLA resolved last night in front of the Canoe a tricky trance, an incandescent tongue twister, one of those stakes that poisons you without you noticing by three trivial details that, together, make a ball and choke you. Face to face, the leader and the bottom. At stake, a place for the final of the Princess of Asturias Cup on January 22. The starting 7-0 run heralded a placid flight, a gentle journey to glory.
The Foundation will face Breogán in Lugo on January 22 to determine the winner of the title
The HLA believed it and let go, entered the fast game of José Antonio Rey, ran a lot, thought little and took advantage of the inertia to close the first act with an eloquent 25-15. However, to be able to run with a minimum guarantee, you have to think quickly, extreme precision. I do not pass. The Foundation added 14 turnovers that allowed the schoolboys to punish Rivero’s team, to find comfortable shooting positions, to load the game inside. The aid did not arrive and neither the size of Randy White nor the success from middle distance of an illustrious one of the great days of the ACB, Daniel Clark, had an effective antidote. The bewilderment gradually took hold of Alicante, who began to see ghosts in the disconcerting arbitration (in the LEB, it usually is) and they became entangled in their own safety net. 27 points conceded in HLA in ten minutes.
The bloodletting was such that Rivero, without faith in Jonas Bergstedt, and disillusioned to get Bilbao and Galán to defend their peers in advance, lost the roles when Canoe began to dominate the match with relative ease. He threw a bottle on the ground to ease his frustration and was sent off: 36-42. The third act did not start better. De la Rua, an unexpected guest, led his team and disabled Llompart’s outbursts, which scored more points than completed circulations. With Canoe’s +12 the alarms went off: 46-58.
Any other team would have collapsed, would have started a witch hunt, a search for the culprits … but the HLA, no. Alberto Antuña supported his remedy on the character of Jorge Bilbao and gradually extinguished Madrid’s drive, first scratching two by two, then three by three … until he entered the last act with options.
Canoe insisted on his melee, on his instant attacks, on filling the Lucentian memory with urgency, but it wasn’t enough. Llompart emerged from the perimeter, Urtasun reinforced the defense, Chumi became a threat, forced his defenders to travel further and the spaces in the painting were used by Bilbao and Galán to bring the points closer to the basket: 72-72, to 90 seconds from the end.
Increased intensity and toughness regimen. He stopped running and the attacks lingered. Each divided ball burned, each referee decision put everyone’s patience on the floor to the test. Alberto Martín fought with Txemi for a ball with 74-72 and the referees called him a foul when he assumed he had recovered a crucial ball. He started screaming, as did his coach, and the effusiveness and fuss fueled a technique to the bench that allowed the HLA to take four free throws with less than a minute to go: 80-75.
The way was done. One more good defense, and the final with all its merits on a night full of sinkholes through which the faith of Rivero’s team never finished seeping in, which is capable of winning without the contribution of its Americans, with Gjuroski disconnected from the collective game , without the coach on the bench and with 21 turnovers in his locker. On January 22, Breogán awaits in Lugo. Two old acquaintances confronted by the bit of pleasure that reminds them of what they once were. Eighth victory for HLA Alicante, which closes the first solo leading round, with a single defeat and many arguments to rewrite its history.
Llompart (18), Chumi Ortega (10), Txemi Urtasun (12), Álex Galán (15), Jorge Bilbao (13) -the starting quintet- Pitts (6), Bergstedt (1), Guillem Arcos (-), Gjuroski ( 2), Samuel Ramos (-) and Rafa Huerta (-).
ZTE REAL CANOE
Alberto Martín (3), Toolson (-), Ander Martínez (18), Randy White (10), Daniel Clark (20) -the starting five- Arribas (3), Bercy (0), De la Rúa (14), Eleraky (-), Chema Gil (4), Miguel González (5) and Guille Ruiz (-).
PARTIALS PER ROOM 25-15 11-27 20-20 26-15
Referees: López Herrada, Pagán Baró and Hurtado Almansa.
Pavilion: Pedro Ferrándiz, from Alicante, with 150 spectators in the stands.
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