Otello Hunter leaded an unbelievable last period from locals at the Estudiantes game with Blancos Rueda Valladolid. Center from North Carolina scored 19pt and grabbed 12 rebounds to add a total league 31.
This time it was heads or tails and it went no good. After the experience two weeks ago at Bilbao court, Estudiantes once again got around the 80s and lost the temper after the good figures from Germán Gabriel and Tariq Kirksay at a late Saturday night show.
But is was tails. There was a message carved on the club panels with a "5- 1" clear statement. Being with a fiver meant to stay at the league top for one month in a row. There were some setbacks to be mentioned. Let's give them a look.
Estudiantes fast start
Carl English smashed over the meeting table with a three-pointer that had to settle things down. Locals can give a false imperssion after last year's suffering. Ok, let's face it. Estudiantes is also giving a rare feeling to analysts and coaches. Both teams proved themselves right. Someone has been working hard at the two teams prognose.
Center Sinanovic forced Estu defensive actions to an extra load. The local squad multiplied the shooting options and soon David Navarro put everything back to the beginning. First three games' Estudiantes scoring (clearly over 20 pt at the first period) suddenly halted due to the good loca work at the back line. Gabriel danced the paint and scored to establish a mere 17-18. It looked pretty much like the start at the game versus Valencia Basket.
The feeling for the second period was identical. Gabriel against Martín with the first drops of high class from Hunter.
Visitors displayed a clutch player as recently showed by Kyle Kuric.The guy from the Cardinals acted as he did last game and scored 8 points on a row. The scoring options at the Schoolboys were giving a much better impression than the muddy post-season at 2011-12 although the point interchange did not benefit us at all. Valladolid was working hard for a balanced 34-36 at half-time.
Nothing serious had yet happened, then.
Carl English smashed some shots to slowly increase visitor's challenge. But offensive rebounds (total 36 to 28) and the hard work made possible local team to survive to the very first 30 minutes.
Nacho Martín 3/7 from the three point line and Alex Renfroe's 2/4 from the distance helped the increasing effectiveness from centers Hunter and O´Leary.
The turning point came just after English, Gabriel and Kuric gave oil to the machines and established a +8 difference with 4 minutes to play. At the mentioned moment, Otello Hunter decided that a somehow suicidal basketball could wake local boys up.
The sleepy ones were dressing light blue and this time could not stop the efficiency from Hunter. He scored every-damned-thing (7/7 in last period) to round up 12 rebounds and establish the sign of the winner on Saturday.
A rather unfortunate shooting round for English and Gabriel was responded from Nacho Martin and the definitive death sentence from the free throws.
Nevertheless the impression of a solid team helps in thinking of a good working line at the home matches.
Next test is next week against direct competitor at the warm part of the standings, multi-faceted CAI Zaragoza (3-3, game 6 76-58 win to Blusens Monbus)
Blancos de Rueda Valladolid 86: Grimau (4), Hunter (19), Tripkovic (2), Martín (19), Renfroe (13), O´Leary (11), Navarro (7), Cizauskas (4), Sinanovic (7).
Asefa Estudiantes 81: Jaime Fernández (2), Clark (0), Granger (12), Gabriel (20), Kuric (13), Vicedo (0), Kirksay (13), English (12), Barnes (7), Nogueira (2).