Asefa Estudiantes stopped a seventeen-year-defeat series with the help of outstanding Carl English and Germán Gabriel.
Playoff mood for a team with no Tariq Kirksay (injury list) on court. Months ago it had been a shooting contest in which Stefansson, Aguilar, Van Rossom and Rudez absolutely on fire. Workers for a pragmatic team CAI Zaragoza that still remained at playoff positions (11-8 before the game). And they beat FC Barcelona Regal, by the way.
But one of the two squads had one extra geat and it was us. Gabriel and Englisj scored every-damned-thing for an incredible 11-28 at the end of period one. Gabriel had 12 points in this quarter. Team league points (pluses and minuses counting) delivered a 0 – 42.
CAI Zaragoza needed one extra portion from the magic cauldron and shortened the figures to a mere -9. A fast reacting Txus Vidorreta stopped it with a time out and diverted the traffic to Kyle Kuric (he was backing the work of Tariq Kirksay) and Lamont Barnes, to his own best version of this season. That made halftime to show a promising 32-46 for the schoolboys.
There was no muddy third quarter this time and Asefa Estudiantes worked solid. The city of Zaragoza, though, has delivered vibrant literary pages and it is often used that “Zaragoza never surrenders” as Pérez Galdós wrote.
Writers of the XIXth had no Carl English in their novels. It frequently developed towards a reaction from the weak local heros. The Canadian responded to every local reaction with a three-pointer, layups or passing game to (basically) Gabriel.
CAI Zaragoza started last period with desperate attacks that had some positive consequences. Believers at the river city grasped their nerves after every long distance shoot. The 10-point barrier was demolished and it was time to show that lot of ‘ifs’ surrounding our long History.
Josh Fisher, first, and Carl English reaction after a technical foul were enough to block reaction. Final score was perhaps too short for reality. Asefa Estudiantes had always had the control.
The Spanish Cup is next stop.
77 – CAI Zaragoza (11+21+20+25): Roll (15), Van Rossom (11), Stefansson (-), Norel (12), Aguilar (12), Jones (6), Rudez (14), Llompart (4), Toppert (3).
82 – Asefa Estudiantes (28+18+20+16): Granger (7), Germán Gabriel (18), Kuric (12), English (27), Barnes (6), Fisher (6), Fernández (2), Clark (-), Nogueira (4).