"It's no fun to be alone", the Sex Pistols sang in 1978. It is fun, though, when you are alone and there is a free space at the three point line and no critical hand in front of one's face. Then a good shooter (CAI Zaragoza hae them) can do the fifteen round that killed every effort from Estudiantes. No club is feeling alone either at the 4-3 standings. Six teams share the playoff box at the moment at Endesa League.
Local squad had no good feelings but in the first quarter. Carl English was being stopped by the visitor guards and Lamont Barnes had too much to do by himself. Being alone at the paint (specially against big backsides Jones and Dutchman Henk Norel) is, baby, No fun.
Let's start over.
CAI Zaragoza outside crew Aguilar, Stefansson, Rudez, van Rossom and Roll signed a 14/27 at three-point shorts right from the first minutes. Estu weapons included a rough lesson from mr Excellence Barnes but it was not enough. After the 14-8 visitor timeout Joseph Jones impacted again and again to Lucas Nogueira. Henk Norel's seven feet front garden was fenced and the rebounds at the end of those minutes were for the guys dressed in red.
Jayson Granger is showing himself off too much and it is game seven already. This implies than more and more scouting is placed on him.
The same pays off to Carl English. This is a good third off at the creative options of Estudiantes. Txus Vidorreta realised that something else had to be suggested yesterday in front of a 9.000 Sunday evening session crowd at the Palacio.
Our skills were somehow limited although German Gabriel insisted from the outside and the inside. Kyle Kuric had just about time to give more oxigen to the attack but CAI retook the lead. Aguilar, Rudez and the exhaustive deffense from Roll to English gave a +7 lead for the guys from Zaragoza.
Half-time made it no better.
From outside the court it looked like there was much to improve. Roll and Stefansson clutched to reach a +16 and they were always finding a good piece of plot with no defender in the nearby. Estudiantes was giving a better impression though. The ten point barrier was closer this time but the feelings were like that: CAI Zaragoza was leading both physically and in shooting percentage.
Vidorreta maybe thinking of a traditional solution. Captain and veterans had to pull harder. But this has a setback: too many minutes for Gabriel and Granger. Last quarter visitor timeouts were perfect in that sense. When 50-56 appeared, CAI coach Abós cooled down local reaction and then the shooters made the rest. From the line 4 out of 4. And everything smelled rotten again.
Asefa Estudiantes somehow tried to overcome his own impotence. Playing hard at the defensive end (Kirksay blocked a Norel's shot high up in the clouds) but remembering last season blurriest games.
When two attacks were finally connected Abós stopped it again. Visitor coach steered the rythm of the game and Estu could only lag behind. It looked again like there was too much space for shooting and Roll & Stefansson opened the definitive waterway. Fire department, two squads for the local 2-3 zone, please.
Someone said we had made the worst game of the starting season and we faced a squad of solid guys. The 4-3 season balance brings us in the middle of the league playoff contestants. And Estudiantes plays away next two games.
ASEFA ESTUDIANTES 68 (17-15-21-15)
Fisher 0, Fernández 0, Clark 1, Granger 13, Gabriel 18, Kuric 5, Kirksay 8, English 13, Barnes 10, Nogueira 0. DNP: Vicedo & Guerra.
Fouled out: Kuric.
CAI ZARAGOZA 83 (14-29-23-17)
Jones 8, Roll 13, Van Rossom 11, Rudez 11, Stefansson 16, Llompart 3, Norel 9, Fontet 2, Toppert 0, Aguilar 10. DNP: García & Marín.