It was a cold atmosphere in San Pablo arena. Less than three thousand people were there to see such an important match for Cajasol. It was really sad to see that not even the cheerleaders had come to support the team… It was the first international game in the city after eight years, but although there were so many opportunities to get a free ticket, the people didn't seem to worry about that. And that way is very difficult to win in Europe.
The match started as it was obvious. Cajasol very nervous, trying to score fastly, while ASK Riga, a very veteran team, did exactly what they had to do: to control the game, making good defense and not complicating themselves on the offensive end. Bruno Sundov, a player with lots of teams on his back, looked like a european star, being a force both inside and outside, both on defense and offense. He anulated players like Triguero (who is still lost in Seville), De Miguel, Carter, Ilic… All the inside game of Cajasol. And Helmanis, a player with lots of experience, hitting three pointers all the time. So the first quarter ended with victory for ASK Riga.
The second quarter was pretty much the same. Cajasol started to make good defense and good basket, but only because Sundov was on the bench, because of personal fouls. This helped the spanish team, after being thirteen points behind, to finish the first half with only five points of difference, scoring eight consecutive points.
The second half was some kind of loosing effort for Cajasol. They were even more nervous than in the previous twenty minutes. Players running and falling to the floor, loosed balls without sense… Cajasol were in a hurry, and they just didn't know how to compete in that situation. Some fans thought that they could won the game, because they manage to lead the score for some minutes, but it was a matter of time for Riga to be again five points up.
The game finished 65-68 with local players trying to win the game at least, since the Eurocup was so far away, but coach Butautas was not ready to let them take the victory. So now, what can we expect from this team? Will they ever start to play as a team, like they did in Madrid some weeks ago? Maybe it was some kind of illusion, and this team doesnt' have anything else inside. As always, time will tell.
Manel Comas, later told that "every player has given their best on the court, but we were not lucky. All that we can do is to continue working as we are doing". We will see is that's enough. There were no questions for spanish coach, in a sad press conference.