Leon conquer the den of the Bears
As their last goal came just after the buzzer, Chekhovskie Medvedi missed their first draw of the season – and Abanca Ademar Leon danced on a court after taking a win from a real thriller. Thanks to the 35:34 goalfest in Russia, the Spanish side passed the ‘Bears’ in the ranking – and Orlen Wisla Plock are confirmed as winners of group A before their top duel against Medvedi next Tuesday.
The match winner for Leon was a 17-year-old right wing: Antonio Martinez.
Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS) vs Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP) 34:35 (20:17)
- Leon now have 13 points in their account and are three points below Plock. Medvedi remain on 12 after their series of wins – three in a row prior to Saturday’s match – came to an end
- Medvedi were ahead throughout the whole first half, even holding a four-goal gap, at 10:6 and 18:14
- after the score of 20:17 at the break, Leon turned the match around within minutes, including a 4:0 run that took the score from 25:24 to 25:28
- in the crucial moments in the last 20 minutes, Leon goalkeeper Carlos Honrado saved some 100% chances, though his overall percentage was quite low (26 per cent)
- at the score of 33:35, Leon’s Gonzalo Perez missed a penalty, which would have meant an earlier decision. At 34:35, Leon caused a turnover with three seconds to go, but the following goal of Dimitry Kornev was just past time
Antonio Martinez becomes Leon’s hero
Besides Leandro Borges, who scored eight goals for Abanca Ademar Leon, a 17 year old talent shone in Chekhov: Right wing Antonio Martinez, who scored 10 goals from 12 attempts in 44 minutes. Funnily enough, those 10 strikes were his first goals in the competition, though Martinez had played seven matches already.