If this were chess and not basketball, the analysts would have failed to prepare for the game. Because almost nothing of what happened was planned. Well, yes, one thing, that Madrid showed its face despite the inclement casualties. That is always the case in the Laso era, Madrid does not crack, the coach shouted it a few weeks ago when the problems multiplied and he shouted it again to raise the curtain on the Cup. His team did it, which unfolded Valencia (85 -74) in a huge collective performance with Deck and Thompkins (23 points per beard) as figureheads, all on a very special day for Laso, just as he became the coach with the most matches (735) in club history , including soccer.
The rest was unexpected, or in case of making a list of forecasts, they would have appeared far down the page. The Tavares-Dubljevic duel did not exist, Cape Verde committed a foul in the 30th second and sat down. And Tyus did not come out immediately, but Reyes, who was on the court 6:40, complied and beat Bomba Navarro as the player with the most minutes in the KO tournament. Edy returned in the second quarter and at 14 seconds, the second personal, to the bench again. Without him, Madrid, who usually play in a minor league, defended at a high level, dominated the rebound and attacked in a fabled driven by the above (70% from two and 41% from triples at halftime).
Alocén led the initial demarcation with 5 assists and Carroll, Thompkins and, above all, Deck were the executing arms: 13 exit points, including the classic coast to coast to close the quarter and a 2 + 1 to put the +16 (38 -22, minute 13).
The white attacks then thickened, now with Llull at the helm, and Marinkovic holed the first triple taronja (5 of 26) while Tobey tried to put the warrior ardor that his teammates lacked. The 40-33 was a mirage and Real opened a gap again at rest (+15) while Prepelic lost himself in a wrong battle, that of gestures.
Ponsarnau demanded his players fight and communion, look at them and recognize them, and in the resumption he still did not do it, there was no order, only individual outbursts, and Madrid touched the sky with the umpteenth target of Deck: 59-38. With everything lost and very uninhibited, we saw the Valencia we expected. Prepelic feigned and Van Rossom struck. The Belgian guard led a 0-15 run that seemed to turn everything upside down: 59-53. Another bad prediction, it was not the day to make them.
Those of Laso recovered their temper. Tavares (-10 with him on the track and already the highest historical blocker of the Cup) appeared in the heights and Deck, like four, beat a Kalinic fighter. Then big relay from Thompkins. So much ride, ride so much. Lethal. “You never look back,” Lolo Sainz told Laso in an emotional video after the game. And the man from Vitoria, excited, heeds him: on Saturday, in the semifinal, the Lenovo Tenerife.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.