Spain Liga Endesa: 2013-14 season tips off

Liga Endesa

The Spanish Liga Endesa tipped off their 2013-14 season with two contests on Saturday, they’ll play six on Sunday, and the remaining contest between Real Madrid and Valladolid will take place on Tuesday. The first game of the season pitted CB Canarias against Rio Natura Monbus, with Canarias coming out on top of a wild finish that saw them squander a 20-point advantage in a game that went down to the wire. In the second game of the day CAI Zaragoza got 20 points and 29 PIR from Giorgi Shermadini in a 77:86 win against Bilbao Basket.

CB Canarias – Rio Natura Monbus, 76:74
In the first official game of the new season, CB Canarias held off a hard late charge by Rio Natura Monbus to pick up the first win 76:74, at home in front of an estimated 3,000 friendlies.

Canarias got out to a big lead in the first frame, getting up 22:9 with two minutes left in the quarter. Monbus then went on a 2:8 run finish of the quarter down 25:17. The second quarter was low-scoring, with CB Canarias adding three to their margin, outscoring Rio Natura 15:12, to take a 40:29 lead into the mid-game break. Sekulic Blagota tallied 18 for Canarias in the first half.

Saul Blanco knocked down eight points, including two three-balls, in less then three minutes, to assist the hosts in extending their lead to 17. At the end of the frame Monbus had cut the margin to 14, 63:49. Canarias opened the final frame with the first seven, to bet up by 20, 69:49, with eight minutes to play. From there things fell apart for the home club, as a 0:13 run from Monbus pulled the guests to within five, 72:67, with a minute to play. Corbacho knocked down a triple for Monbus that cut the deficit to one, 74:73, with 10 seconds to play. Nico Richotti was fouled and sent to the line for two charity tosses, which he connected on, to push the score to 76:73. Nick Minnerath was fouled away from the basket to prevent Monbus from getting a three-pointer off, so he hit the first and missed the second hoping for a rebound and put-back. The plan worked up to the ‘get the rebound’ part, as Canarias secured possession and ran out the remaining seconds for the win.

Blagota Sekulic was game-high for Canarias with 23, Saul Blanco added 18, and Richotti scored 14.

Mike Muscala led Monbus with 16 points and 9 rebounds, Durand Scott scored 11.

Bilbao Baskets – CAI Zaragoza, 77:86
CAI Zaragoza picked up their first win of the Liga Endesa season on the road as they traveled to the Bilboa Arena and stopped their hosts, Bilbao Baskets, 77:86.

The clubs opened the contest trading baskets for the better part of the first frame, drawing to a tie six times up to 16-all. CAI pulled away slightly from there, building a six-point lead that they took into the second frame, 23:27. The guests doubled their lead in the second quarter, getting up 38:50 with a minute to play before the mid-game break. Bilbao tallied the final four of the half to cut the lead to eight, 42:50.

The hosts controlled the contest in the early part of the second half, fighting back to knot the score at 59 with four minutes to play in the third 10. CAI hit the next five points to open up a lead again, which they were able to hold through the rest of the stanza to head into the final frame up 64:68. Bilbao couldn’t pull off the come-from-behind win for the estimated 8,000 friendlies that packed the Arena, as CAI kept them from cutting the margin to inside six in the final 10, extending to 11, 72:83, with just over two minutes to play. They closed out Game 1 of their respective seasons with a 77:86 road win for CAI.

Shermadini was game-high for CAI with 20 points and 7 rebounds, Joseph Jones added 17, and the duo of Michael Roll and Viktor Sanikidze dropped in 11 each.

Alex Mumbru led Bilbao with 18 points and 8 rebounds, Antanas Kavaliauskas added 14, Axel Hervell tallied 12 points and 9 rebounds, and German Gabriel scored 12.

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