Tue. Feb 25th, 2020

Copa del Rey. Yes, everyone trusted Llull, but …



His explosion in the quarterfinals does not hide that Real Madrid lives more comfortable with Campazzo at the controls

3:51 left for the end of the quarterfinal match against Bilbao Basket and Sergio Llull burst. In the center of the track he shouted and violently waved his arms like the one that has taken a huge weight off. He had just scored twelve points in a row (three triples, a basket of two and a free throw) in less than three minutes. The threat of the Bilbaons for the final stretch (75-70) had remained nothing (87-74). “At no time did he doubt him, at least on the team. We need it to get important things, ”said Facu Campazzo in the gut of Martin Carpena after the victory of Laso’s.

The 19 points of Llull next to the form and the moment in which they arrived remembered the best version of a player that not so long ago was the best matchbreaker in Europe. In the dressing room of Madrid it is still the soul of the group, but on the track others have assumed a leadership from which the injuries have been removed in recent months. After winning the last Endesa League at the Palau, he couldn’t be more blunt: “I’ve been in shit for two years.” That “stay” for the crusader injury lasted this season with some muscle problems that took him away from the courts for almost two months. He fell on November 24 and could not reappear until mid-January, a month before the Cup. His return coincided with the darkest stage of the season. There were four defeats in a row: three in the Euroleague (CSKA, Khimki and Anadolu Efes) and one in the ACB (Baskonia). It was as if his low fitness had a contagion effect. “We must worry about finding our way of playing again, our rhythm, our defense and finding the spark we have lost,” he said.

Llull is reinventing himself. The confidence of his colleagues, the board and the coaching staff is absolute. “My confidence in him is very high. He has given us many nights of glory and will give us many more. He is intelligent and knows what I think, so I don’t have to tell him anything, ”Laso said before landing in Malaga. He assured in LA REAZÓN to be “calm, working well and with the confidence of the people that I have to have it… the confidence of the coach, my teammates and the club so I will continue working to see my best again version”. He has assumed that he must re-adapt his game – “before I turned 30 I based it a lot on my physique, I knew that they could not stop me, and now we have to adapt,” he said-, but in the Cup the most authentic Llull has reappeared . In Malaga the player who leads decisive partials has returned, which when he goes on a run is unstoppable … the usual Llull. Javi Salgado, Álex Mumbrú’s assistant, warned him: “It’s unpredictable because the same thing kills you with a triple of nine meters than with its penetrations.”

It was the executing arm of Madrid in the last quarter, but its “tangerines” and its explosion in the final leg cannot hide that the team is more fluid with Campazzo at the controls. The base, Deck and Tavares were decisive against Bilbao. Especially the “Facu”. With him on the track the group is more greased on both sides of the court. Defend as nobody and in attack is able to involve all players. This is what Jaume Ponsarnau, coach of Valencia commented: “They are a fearsome team because they have many and very good players.” The “Facu” warns of what awaits him in the first semifinal to Madrid: “Valencia has a great time, defends very well and can hurt you in many ways. There is always talk that we are favorites. We have that responsibility and we carry that backpack, but that can transform it into something positive. ” The first transformation has come with the Llull of a lifetime.

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