Lucas Sáez-BravoSpecial envoy Málaga

Special envoy Malaga

Updated Thursday, February 15, 2024-20:17

It was a Real Madrid without spark, a Madrid of sweat, of crooked gesture, of getting by. He was a brave Murcia, proud, aggressive, standing until the end, until


avoided greater evils for a team that confirms that it goes to the Cup in search of the brilliance and fireworks of not so long ago. The whites await a rival in the semi-finals (or Valencia or Gran Canaria), but the reconquest they aspire to will undoubtedly require a fuller version in the Martín Carpena. [84-79: Narration and statistics]

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More warriors to join the cause, more consistency, more concentration. Because they shined in the first half, as if warning that they were ready for the first party of the year, and they diluted themselves when they shouldn't against a rival with self-respect, which took them to the agony of the end, although not for a second in the entire match,

Sito Alonso

's team were ahead on the scoreboard.

But with four minutes left, there they were, on the edge of a feat, a comeback to remember when


and his hooks hurt the white zone (71-70). Not long before they had a slab on them (42-27), when they seemed overwhelmed by that pack that looks like Madrid with the open field. In that second quarter,


on fire, and the hunger to rebuild what was taken away in Badalona by Unicaja and before, twice, by


's Barça . With the Cup that they have not won since 2020 in sight, they seemed like the overwhelming Madrid at the beginning of the season, their wild mechanisms, that dizzying game that Sito Alonso was not able to contain with the heart of his warriors.

Deck, against Todorovic.Daniel PérezEFE

But UCAM is a team with the ardor of its coach. A group that claws, with character, capable of rising despite losing its reference


weeks ago , or not having its starting point guard,

Ludde Hakanson

, for the tournament. The greats have suffered against him that course and the identification, the project, the red tide arriving from Murcia that enveloped the arrival of his team with hope is increasing.

But the 6-0 start was already a sign. Madrid tried to run even if they couldn't. It is their deadly weapon and almost no one has the kryptonite to nullify it.

Dejan Todorovic

, Birgander's replacement back to the ACB from China, tried to push his team, brave against a thick


, blocked Campazzo and 11-11 to start again. But again the stampede, now with Hezonja from the bench, 12 almost consecutive points from the Croatian, as unstoppable as


and the triple with which he set the maximum (42-27). Only a burst of rage from

Dylan Ennis

, the Murcian offensive reference in the duel, left some uncertainty at half-time.

Murcia had to stop trying not to throw in the towel. It is the third cup participation in its history, the second in the last three years. On his return he raised the bar of aggressiveness, he emptied himself into Carpena, tightening the lines, causing losses and ending one-on-zero plays, in unusual counterattacks that unnerved

Chus Mateo

. In addition to two triples from

Caupain ,


's errors

, Tavares' laziness, Ennis' momentum... A 0-9 to get closer (56-53), although


and Llull put some order before entering the act definitive.

That was going to be a heart attack, worthy of a Cup. The first Murcian approach was solved by a wonderful Llull. And the second, the most dangerous, Campazzo's talent, nine points and an assist in the last three minutes of nerves and mistakes.