Copa del Rey round up: Real Madrid, Baskonia advance in thrilling opening night
Real Madrid and Baskonia underwent stiff tests but both came away with victories in the 2017 Copa del Rey in Vitoria.
Behind Shane Larkin’s 26 points and eight assists, the hosts Baskonia needed a strong fourth quarter performance to beat Tenerife 90-81 and move on to the semi-finals.
Baskonia began with great enthusiasm, leading by eleven at the half, but Tenerife, who sit in second place in the Liga Endesa and are competing in only their second Copa del Rey in 20 years showed their season’s credentials in the third quarter and narrowed the gap to 61-55 heading into the final period.
But the hosts secured their passage to the last four with a dominant display in the fourth quarter, thanks to stellar play by Larkin.
Hungarian international Adam Hanga added 16 points for the winners. Marius Grigonis led Tenerife with 23 points and six assists.
Real Madrid needed a controversial Anthony Randolph three-pointer to force overtime but they eventually overcame Andorra 99-93 to join Baskonia in the semi-finals.
With time winding down at the end of regulation, Sergio Llull dribbled the ball up-court but under intense Andorra defence, look to have put his foot on the centre circle.
— Movistar Basket (@MovistarBasket) February 16, 2017
The no-call resulted in Randolph hitting an open three with 4.7 ticks left to force overtime and from there Real Madrid took advantage of a tired Andorran side to get the win.
Randolph ended with 25 points to lead the winners. Llull flirted with a triple-double as he hit 22 points, dished out 11 assists and pulled down seven rebounds. Teenager Luka Doncic also went close to a triple-double as the young Slovenian posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
ANDORRA COACH JOAN PENARROYA: WE LOST UNFAIRLY
Andorra were within seconds of a memorable victory over Real Madrid when Anthony Randolph drained a clutch three to tie the game at 86-86 and force overtime.
However, under strong Andorran defence, Sergio Llull looked to have put a foot on half-court, which should have been called for a backcourt violation but the referees whistles went silent.
There was also a strange travelling violation on Giorgi Shermadini, also late in the game. The Georgian was called for the travel after a made hook-shot that would have made it a six-point lead (86-80) for Andorra with 44 seconds left.
“We lost narrowly and unfairly,” Andorra coach Joan Penarroya said.
“We have done everything to win,” added Andorra general manager Francesc Solana.
“When we were up by four, there were some cases that the referees failed to see. The travelling call on Shermadini and the backcourt violation when Llull stepped on the line. It’s incredible that the referees can’t see these things. In the end, the winner is the one who makes the most points. When there is a situation where the referees don’t see one thing yet see the steps of Shermadini it feels like they are taking something from you.”