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King Nico’s big setback

Basketball

Iberostar Tenerife 74 Real Madrid 84

WHAT a servant Nico Richotti has been to Iberostar Tenerife! The 31-year-old, Argentina-born guard, became the club’s longest-serving player with his 247th appearance, at home against Real Madrid.

It would have been fitting to celebrate with a victory, but the powerful visitors proved too strong. A packed 5,000 crowd watched Tenerife’s 23-18 first-quarter lead slip away, with follow-up scores of 19-24, 16-18, and 16-24.

Tim Abromaitis and Mike Tobey led the resistance with 12 points apiece, but Madrid pressure forced on-the-ball errors by Tenerife, who were punished for them.

But they bounced back to winning ways on Wednesday, strengthening their second place in their European Champions League qualifying group with a 79-74 win at PAOK Salonika, in Greece.

The quarter scores went 17-23, 19-19, 21-19, and 17-18, and inspirational captain Nico Richotti staged a brilliant, 22-point display.

It’s going to be a tough few weeks for Tenerife, who haven’t another home league game at their Pabellon Santiago Martin stadium in La Laguna until December.

A series of concerts and special events there will keep them on the move, so it’s vital they do not to slip off the pace in the Liga Endesa. This Sunday they are away at Zaragoza.

International recognition has been bestowed on Javi Beiran and Fran Vazquez, who have been selected by Spain for qualifying games towards the 2018 World Championship in China. On the 24th and 26th November, Spain play Montenegro and Slovenia respectively.

The possible long-term injury of Barcelona-born Ferran Bassas has forced Tenerife to bring in a replacement, and Mallorcan Pedro Llompart, 35, has plenty of experience. He last played for Valencia, and he also had a season with Tenerife in 2007-2008, so he should fit in nicely.

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=38667

Posted by on Nov 9 2017. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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