There was no possible way in logics. Asefa Estudiantes could not count on the two best scorers on the season and the assault to the Palau seemed utopic.
Nevertheless we believed in it for three-quarters of the game. The tools had to be an encouraged team and the children at the court. But there appeared them. Joen Ingles shooting efficiency and what money can buy: Erazem Lorbek. The two of them smashed the irregular guerrilla suggestion. There is no suggestions to win that 'Palau magic'.
We are all familiar with those charming sport stories. The ones where film directors put their eyes on. Hoosiers-like where the weak beats the powerful. For some minutes it looked like it could be done. Asefa Estudiantes had arrived to the city without its best all-round players this season, Carl English and Germán Gabriel, both at the injury list.
On the other side of the road, League and Cup champion. The depth of his rooster is so high that Barcelona kept Navarro and Jasikevicius away from the battle. There was more Eurolague to come and these key players had to be replaced. Xavi Pascual somewhat brought second-liners into action. The point is that any league team would kill to host those in-theory-second-liners as Joe Ingles (clutch winner of the game), Erazem Lorbek (whose sole contract doubles Asefa Estudiantes' budget) or Brad Oleson (signed to only play League).
The 'ifs' of the League. You go nowhere thinking 'what ifs'. Txus Vidorreta took 10 players to the bus. No Gabriel and no English. These are the chances youngsters get at Asefa Estu. Edgar Vicedo and center Fran Guerra had one of their days and it was in their hands to make it a day, Kyle Kuric started the attack options in front of a sleepy Barcelona.
Not much to write about, blurry systems and little scoring to reach 9-16. Is it handball? It could be junior cricket.
Masks off. Asefa Estudiantes was feeling comfortable along this guerrilla plot. Every ball was a fight and local millionaire squad gave the impression that somebody hadn't arrived to the game. Jason Granger shook the court to reach a +11 difference that set some alarms at the local attendance. That attendance.
A poort 26-33 halftime score kept dreams alive at the visitors' younger-ish side. But there is a moment in life when you just wake up. MVP player Erazem Lorbek scored and pushed ahead in the beginning of a different sort of game. Someone at the local side must have realised that their bombardier capacity was to be the only way to dismantle that spider-like Estudiantes.
NO ENGLISH BUT INGLES
And it was gone. No time for another Hoosiers' day. Sad and cruel reality appeared. Two consecutive three pointers from Joe Ingles' hands made everything uphill. Asefa Estudiantes had sustained a reasonable distance but the local squad soon reached a +14 (67-53) with a mere six minutes to go. Literature and epics will have to wait to next season.
78 - FC Barcelona Regal (9+17+30+22): Huertas (15), Wallace (-), Rabaseda (-), Oleson (10), Jawai (10), Sada (4), Abrines (8), Todorovic (-), Ingles (14), Hezonja (-), Lorbek (12) & Tomic (5).
65 - Asefa Estudiantes (16+17+18+14): Clark (6), Granger (21), Kuric (16), Kirskay (7), Barnes (2), Fisher (-), Fernández (2), Vicedo (-), Guerra (-) & Nogueira (11).