The controversial fast serve marks the new Endesa League

Nico Laprovittola takes a throw-in against Sergio Llull. /

Season 2022-2023

The ACB intends to provide the championship that opens this Wednesday with a Girona-Real Madrid match with greater rhythm and spectacle

Amador Gomez

The controversial fast serve, the great novelty established in Spanish basketball that was officially inaugurated last weekend in the Super Cup to speed up the game, will mark the development of the 2022-2023 Endesa League this season. With defenders and detractors of the rule that will allow a player to take the ball from the touchline or deep without the referee touching or holding it, the regularity championship opens this Wednesday with a Girona-Real Madrid matchup between one of the two recently promoted, chaired and led on the track by Marc Gasol, and the defender of the league title and brand-new Super Cup champion.

When the echoes of the incredible Eurobasket conquered by Spain have not yet been extinguished, the Endesa League raises the curtain with an innovation that has provoked resounding reactions as soon as it was released. “The serve rule seems unnecessary to me. They are wanting to reinvent basketball, “Sergio Llull, the active player with the most League titles (seven), launched Sunday night. “Shooting from the back field without the referee having to touch the ball seems so good to me that four years ago I asked for it to be applied. I have played with this rule and I cannot be more in favor, ”said Aíto García Reneses, who returns to the ACB as coach of Girona and, with nine league titles, is the most successful coach in Spanish basketball, only surpassed by Pedro Ferrándiz (twelve) and Lolo Sainz (ten).

“This rule will reward those who are smarter. Basketball is a game for smart and dynamic people and I think they will like it again, ”says Obradoiro coach Moncho Fernández. “The objective is to reduce interruptions and increase speed, counterattacks and transitions,” highlights the ACB about this new rule with which the vast majority of Endesa League coaches agree. Players and referees will also have to get used to this innovative rule, which will not be applied in European competitions. “In the beginning it will cost a lot, as it happens with all the things that you have been doing for a long time in the same way. It’s good, but it needs time to adapt, “acknowledges Sito Alonso, coach of Murcia.

With this innovation, which has the approval of FIBA ​​to be used in the ACB, it is intended to provide a greater rhythm to a sport weighed down by unnecessary stoppages in the game and, above all, by the confusion with the calendar. In short, it is about trying to make basketball more attractive and spectacular and the matches do not last as long as they have until now. Also, to speed up the game, the ACB has decided to reduce the cases in which the referees can go to the ‘instant replay’.

The supposed beneficiaries

The quick serve rule, which was in force in the past, has already been implemented in some friendlies this preseason, in the Catalan League and in the Super Cup played in Seville. Before Real Madrid won its fifth consecutive crown in the tournament that opens the season, Piti Hurtado, one of the most influential and followed coaches and commentators today, has already warned of what the change in regulations will entail.

«The rule of not touching the ball referee in rear field kicks benefits the six ACB teams that will not play European competition. They can train him solidly. The other 12 (four Euroleague, two Eurocup and six Champions League) will have to change chips every three days, “warns Piti Hurtado, referring to the teams that will not play this season on the Old Continent (Betis, Fuenlabrada, Obradoiro, Zaragoza, Granada and Girona), in addition to Breogán, eliminated in the previous phase of the Champions League. The representatives in the Euroleague will be Real Madrid, Barça, Valencia and Baskonia; in the Eurocup Joventut and Gran Canaria; and in the Champions League Tenerife, Unicaja, Bilbao, Murcia and Manresa.

The opening day of the Endesa League will be divided into three days, since after Girona-Real Madrid in Fontajau on Thursday four games will be played and as many on Friday. The Gran Canaria-Barça and Joventut-Bilbao matches, which will be played on Friday from 9:30 p.m., will close the first day of a championship in which Real Madrid, in year I after the Laso era, aspires to revalidate the title, an achievement they achieved for the last time four seasons ago –in 2019 they linked two consecutive Leagues–, while Barça was champion for the last time in 2021. The azulgranas ceded the crown to the whites last June and on Sunday they also fell in the Super Cup final against the team now led by Chus Mateo.

Bosnian Musa defends regular season MVP with champion

The Bosnian Dzanan Musa (23 years old and 2.05 meters) defends, now in the ranks of the champion, the title of MVP of the regular season of the Endesa League that he won in the last edition with Breogán. Since Luka Doncic left in 2018, Real Madrid did not have a profile similar to that of the Slovenian genius. Musa can play shooting guard, small forward and even point guard. With an enormous facility to score, the Bosnian international is also characterized, despite his size, by a great ability to lead and generate play. According to Pablo Laso’s replacement on the whites’ bench, Chus Mateo, “it will mark an era at Real Madrid.” At the moment, in his official debut with the whites, in the Super Cup, he scored 40 points (21 against Betis and 19 against Barça), to beat Madrid’s scoring record in an edition of the tournament that opens the season.

In the Musa Super Cup he has averaged 20 points, five assists and a PIR of 26.5. In the semi-final against Betis he was just one point away from the PIR record in the Super Cup, with 33, thanks to his 21 points and seven assists. Although Doncic is at another level, the comparisons with the former Real Madrid star now in the Dallas Mavericks have not stopped happening. Musa made his professional debut at the age of 15 at Cedevita Zagreb and in the Euroleague at just 16. He arrived in the NBA (Brooklyn Nets) at the same age as Doncic (19) and in the same year, in 2018.

After leaving the North American league, he returned to Europe in January 2021 to join Anadolu Efes, although he only played 11 minutes in the Euroleague with the Turkish team. He then terminated his contract with Efes and signed for Breogán, with whom he became the most valued player in the League, with an average of 23.1. Only in three games did the Bosnian fall below ten points in valuation. He was also the top scorer in the competition, averaging 20.1 points.



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