The Thompson-Kotsar duo gives Baskonia the victory in Valencia

2022-10-06T22:25:12+00:00 2022-10-06T23:46:28+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

06/Oct/22 22:25

Joan Peñarroya comes back to La Fonteta beating his former team thanks to Baskonia’s newcomers

By Eurohoops Team/

Joan Peñarroya’s decision to leave Valencia to join Baskonia in the summer was surrounded by a lot of talks. In the first game between the two Spanish teams in the 2022-23 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Baskonia prevailed in La Fonteta 81-71 thanks to its new faces and sharing the ball better than the opponents (24 assists vs 10).

Newcomers Darius Thompson and Maik-Kalev Kotsar were clearly the best players on Baskonia’s side. The former Lokomotiv Kuban playmaker went close to his first EuroLeague double-double with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 11 assists, while the Estonian center had a giant performance of 21 points and 9 rebounds, shooting 10/12 inside the area.

Markus Howard (12 p.) and Rokas Giedraitis (19 p., 7 r.) were also helpful for Baskonia’s first away victory in the European competition.

“Everyone on the team battled really hard, worked really hard, and thanks to that we got the win. I felt comfortable thanks to the guys. Everyone played together, found me at the right times and we helped each other out to get the win”, Kotsar said after the game. “My biggest thing is trying to find my teammates. We just wanted to get the win, fight and compete”, Darius Thompson added.

“It’s an important win for the team, we played a good game. We controlled our emotions and the rhythm of the game. It’s important for our young team to get experience and winning in La Fonteta is important for our confidence. We controlled well our defensive rebounds against one of the best offensive rebounds teams in the competition”, Baskonia’s coach said after the victory.

Valencia missed the contribution of Bojan Dubljević, who went scoreless on the court. Jasiel Rivero (14 p., 6 r.), Jonah Radebaugh (10 p.), and Jared Harper (10 p.) had some good EuroLeague debuts. However, the whole team struggled from the free-throw line, as Valencia went 15/26 when the time was stopped.

“We didn’t find our rhythm. We started a little bit better after halftime, but we didn’t have the rhythm for the whole game. We need a little bit more with the new players, but we keep working”, Alex Mumbru commented on his team’s loss.

PHOTO CREDIT: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague