The Champions League faces its final stretch. The competition will be decided with a final phase between eight participating teams, which will take place from May 5 to 9 at a venue yet to be determined. And the Casademont Zaragoza will attend the event with the highest aspirations, after having finished fourth in the previous edition. This year, in addition, his European career is also proving firm, convincing, with the only blemishes of the defeat embedded in Hungary, on December 22, against Falco Szombathely (94-86); and, above all, of the disgrace suffered on March 23, on the track of the German Brose Bamberg (117-76).
In the rest of their performances, the Zaragoza team has always emerged victorious, regardless of the rival and the stage. Nothing to do with that fickle team, with a tendency to irregularity, that has been starring in so many surprises in the Endesa League. In Europe, Casademont has won the victory in 9 of its 11 matches, and has already guaranteed its presence in the final phase. Now he will fight for the continental title, next May, with San Pablo Burgos – current champions – Tenerife, Czech Nymburk, Israeli Hapoel Holon, Russian Nizhny Novgorod and Turkish Pinar Karsiyaka; in addition to another team, yet to be identified, that will come out of the duel that faces Strasbourg today with Turk Telekom.
For now Casademont leads Group L, with only one day remaining for the second round of the competition to end. And he will defend his first place next Thursday, in the Czech Republic, against the rival he already defeated last week in the Príncipe Felipe pavilion (90-71). Sergio Hernández’s team also beat Brose Bamberg (77-65) at home the previous week, in addition to carrying out their two commitments with Dinamo Sassari, first in Italy (83-95) and later in Zaragoza (105-88) .
In the second phase of the tournament, the only setback suffered by the Aragonese –mayúsculo, yes– occurred on the Brose Bamberg court (117-76), where they were permanently overtaken by a more energetic, more intense, more concentrated opponent, more supportive, more balanced and more sure of his forces. Despite that humiliation, Casademont remains the leader of its group in this second phase, with a balance of four victories and a single defeat in the five games played.
Previously, the Zaragoza team had passed the opening round as seed, having finished leader of a group in which they competed with the Russian Nizhny Novgorod, the Polish Start Lublin and the Hungarian Falco Szombathely. The Aragonese recorded five victories in six games, with the only stumble of the one starred in Hungary (94-86). Especially commendable was his performance in Russia, on the Nizhny Novgorod court (92-98), on the fifth day, with a victory that already guaranteed his presence in the second round of the tournament, and also as first in the group. The classification of the Russians for the Final to Eight further magnifies that victory of the Zaragozans.