The Basketball Girona by Marc Gasol it’s already from the Endesa League After beating this Sunday Movistar Students by 60-66 in the Fontajau pavilion in the match for the rise of the final phase of the LEB Gold.
Girona will once again enjoy the basketball elite 14 years later of the disappearance of Akasvayu Girona, while Estudiantes, who at the beginning of the course were the big favorites for direct promotion by history, by name, by budget and by squad, will have to play one more year in the silver division.
Fontajau presented a full house. And the first thing he celebrated, before any basket, was Gasol’s name in the starting lineup. He had left injured and limping in the third quarter of the semi-final and his participation in the final seemed difficult, so seeing his ’33’ on the floor was a significant boost for the fans and for the Catalan team.
Girona started the match with ambition and with a three-pointer Josep Franco (0-3). Soon he was placed with five points of rent (2-7), after a basket by Gasol. But Estudiantes woke up and took the lead for the first time with a three-point shot by Lucas Faggiano (12-9), culminating an exciting 10-2 run.
The advantage for the hosts returned to five points at the end of the first period (14-19), with two consecutive penetrations by Albert Sàbat and a shot from Kaspars Vecvagars. And it grew to eight units at the start of the second quarter, with a triple by Èric Vila (14-22). Girona did not relinquish the initiative.
The first act was full of alternatives. Estudiantes moved within two points (20-22) after baskets by Alex Urtasun, Adams Sola and Felipe Dos Anjos, but two consecutive three-pointers by Vecvagars slowed down their reaction (20-28). Karamo Jawara took the maximum lead to double digits (20-30), against a suffering Estudiantes team who lost six balls before Girona lost the first.
The success in the triples marked the match. Girona converted five of their first nine attempts; the Students, one. The second triple from Madrid was signed by Johnny Dee. And the American point guard himself closed the second quarter with a shot over the buzzer (30-34).
The third period started with two baskets by Gasol and Javi Beirán, the two world champions who stepped on the Fontajau court. Students continued to dominate the rebound (27-16 at the end of the third quarter, 9-1 in attack), but could not find the formula to tame the host momentum and to silence the illusion of Maximum Fjellerup (17 points at 30 minutes) and Gasol.
The shooting guard and center raised the maximum lead to 12 points with two 2+1s in a row (37-49) and made Fontajau explode. And Vecvagars took her to 13 with her third 3-pointer in three attempts (39-52). There were 14 after a triple and a basket by Sàbat (43-57). The mattress grew, relentlessly.
The definitive period began with 47-58 and with a triple by Javier Beiran. Girona did not know how to score in the first three minutes and Nacho Martín resurrected the Madrid options (52-58). A new triple by Beiran, from far away, a free throw by Dee and a basket by Faggiano reduced the difference to two goals (58-60). The partial was 11-2, until Fjellerup (19) and Gasol (11) stopped the bleeding (58-64). Girona recovered its pulse in time to sing a historic triumph.
Movistar Students, 60 (14+16+17+13): Faggiano (11), Dee (8), Beirán (13), Durisic (4) and Larsen (4) -initial five-; Martín (3), Sola (4), Dos Anjos (7), Urtasun (4) and Arroyo (2).
Basketball Girona, 66 (19+15+24+8): Urtasun, Fjellerup (19), Franch (2), Jawara (9) and Gasol (11) -initial five-; Vila (3), Sàbat (9), Vecvagars (13), Stürup and Sorolla.
Referees: Garcia, Zafra and Lopez.
Incidents: Final for promotion to the Endesa League played at the Fontajau pavilion in front of some 5,500 spectators.