Updated Saturday, May 28, 2022 –
The shooting guard ends his career after 19 seasons in the elite. He is the fourth highest triple jumper in the ACB. “I get the affection of the people”, he concedes before the applause of the Nou Congost, the field where he debuted in 1999
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Every fan in the packed Nou Congost applauds, Baxi Manresa applauds, Real Madrid applauds, even the referees applaud and all Spanish basketball applauds. Because one of the benchmarks of the last decade was playing his last game. One of those guys who ennobled his profession and that only the generational coincidence with an incomparable era prevented him from also being a protagonist in the Spanish team. Rafa Martinezat 40, said goodbye where it all began in 1999.
“Everything happens, everything ends,” said the man from Santpedor between tears, with his offspring in his arms. 628 games in ACB divided between Manresa, Valencia Basket (11 seasons, won the 2017 League and the Eurocup in 2010, 2014 and 2019), Bilbao and the return to the origins. “It’s a pride to finish like this, I get the affection of the people”, continued the shooting guard, a legendary shooter: on Wednesday, in his penultimate dance, he scored his triple number 884 in the Endesa League, surpassing the 882 of Perasovic and establishing himself as the fourth highest three-point player in the ACB era, only behind Mumbr, Navarro and Herreros.
“Rafa is a crack. I have trained him at different times, and he trains the same the first day as the last. This morning there was a voluntary training and he has come. An example, a shooter, competitor and a good person”, praised him Peter Martinez after the elimination of his team at the hands of Real Madrid. “I haven’t had the luck to train him, but they speak wonders about him,” confirmed Paul Lasso.
The afternoon in Manresa had another special moment. Sergio Llull, precisely one of Rafa Martínez’s great friends, super a Juan Carlos Navarro (386) to become the highest assistant in the history of the Endesa League Playoff.
According to the criteria of