The defeat of Valencia Basket in the first quarterfinal match of the Endesa League playoff at the Palau has left the Taronja against the ropes and forced to win at home if they do not want to say goodbye to the season this Friday at La Fonteta.
An extreme situation in which Álex Mumbrú needs the best version of each player and the recovery of two taronjas that could be key, such as Jared Harper and captain Bojan Dubljevic. The presence of both, after the medical tests they underwent yesterday, seems certain, since they ruled out major injuries and Mumbrú hopes to count on them.
The American point guard, who returned to play a game a month later, ended up with a sprain and discomfort in the instep, but showed that he can be an effective offensive weapon against the Regular League champion, after adding 15 points, with three triples and 13 valuation. And it is that due to his qualities he is a headache for the Barça point guards, with problems defending a point guard of his speed and stature.
Harper already stood out in the other three precedents that he played before against FC Barcelona and only missed the one that faced the Catalans in the Endesa League at the Palau.
In the Euroleague, where Mumbrú did not have the condition of an extra-community discard, Harper played both games. In the one at Fonteta, which ended with a 1-0 victory for Valencia Basket (84-83), the American added 11 points, 5 assists and a PIR of 17. In the match played in Barcelona he was the top scorer with 14 points, although he failed to avoid the 85-71 defeat.
In the previous match against Jasikevicius’ men in the Endesa League at La Fonteta, he once again stood out with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a PIR of 15, although again they were insufficient to overcome a Barcelona team that won 80-92.
Some numbers that show the problems that players like Satoransky and Laprovittola have to defend and that make them start with a clear advantage over the other two non-EU players when it comes to making a discard on Friday. Jasiel Rivero, for the moment, is the one who was left out last Monday, when James Webb III entered the list.
With the injuries to López-Arostegui and Millán Jiménez, the presence of youth squad player Guillem Ferrando among the twelve called up would be certain, which would force them to also make a second discard from among those not from training or from outside the community. In this case, the last to be left out was Shannon Evans, in a position covered by Chris Jones, Martin Hermannsson and Ferrando himself.
Who surely will not be left out will be the captain Bojan Dubljevic, since despite finishing the game with a slight sprain in the ankle, he does not suffer a reach injury and the discomfort he has should not prevent him from being at Fonteta on Friday for help force the third game of the quarterfinal tie.
The Montenegrin, whose renewal is still not finalized, was not in his best numbers last Monday, but he is the great reference in the paint and more necessary than ever for a decisive match like Friday’s. And even more so if, as everything indicates, the extra-community discard continues to be a player from the paint like Jasiel or Webb III instead of Jared Harper.
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