Seventh win came to the headquarters of Asefa Estudiantes with the best of the shapes. The third team of the Liga Endesa, Herbalife Gran Canaria, appeared in front of 7000 noisy espectators (2nd attendance of this very strange Wednesday session). The fundamentals of local team, Carl English (27 pts) and Germán Gabriel (21) got this time a helping pair of young hands.
Baby “Bebé” Nogueira opened the Herbs pot and the team started to burn fuel in a much better way than against MadCroc Fuenlabrada. Thus very little far, Granger, English, Gabriel and Nogueira created several scoring ways and visitor coach had to try everything possible. Time out and bad temper are a bad combination and it does not normally work well. This time it didn't.
Local schoolboys had the statistics on their side. Again, a promising start with a first quarter 20+ scoring. This has proven right for the entire season though.
ENGLISH MVP MODE ON
Canaries are not in the League top three because lucky shots. Their weapons were this day a quite effective Eulis Báez, and Newley. But Asefa Estu was showing the playoff skills that have been highly commented against PO teams. Carl English made a 5/6 from the three point line. Whereas Lamont Barnes did not find the best feelings, Lucas Nogueira dunked every lost piece of ball.
More scoring options included Kirksay variety from the long range as well as his skills at the paint. Gabriel and Lucas sustained the local production at post-halftime "wacky minutes". This had little to do with the freaky third quarters against Manresa or last season nightmares. Just no, boy.
Nevertheless, Herbalife Gran Canaria insisted on three and four different approaches to scoring. Pedro Martínez asked for a minute of glory and his players did a nice top of the tops ball.
SCARY BIRDS AT THE FOURTH
Newley scored 8 points on a row for a total stats of his 14 pt and 5 rebs. All previous work had gone to a dangerous 63-56. The dice passed to Stephen Nelson's hands. The bloke from Pocatello, Idaho, delivered a couple of good and comfortable shots to establish the difference into a mere +5.
The nesting yellow canaries had mutated into a hard-working squad. Then young blood from the high school gushed from the bench and Jaime Fernández and future allstar Nogueira set the game in fire. Lay up from the guard, then a blocked shot at 9th floor and a technical foul that tried to stop it bleeding.
The entire Palacio breathed deeply. Herbalife Gran Canaria was no threat no more. Although Nelson (16 pt, 10 reb) remained on fire, the combo guard Fernández cooled the whole thing down from the free throws and Asefa Estudiantes grabbed their seventh victory.
Spanish Cup top 8 is at our fingertips. Will we do it?
ASEFA ESTUDIANTES 83 (25-18-20-20)
FIsher 0, Fernández 10, CLark 2, Granger 4, Gabriel 21, Kuric 6, Kirksay 6, English 27, Barnes 1, Nogueira 6. DNP: Vicedo & Guerra.
HERBALIFE GRAN CANARIA 73 (13-20-15-27)
Guerra 0, Newley 14, Toolson 16, Bellas 4, Báez 12, Rey 6, Nelson 16, Alvarado 0, Scheyer 3, Beirán 0, Slokar 4. DNP: Domínguez