Red-hot Estu Maintain Winning Run

10 April 2007

Estudiantes can now focus their full attention on this weekend's EuroCup Final Four after downing Bruesa GBC on Monday night to continue their remarkable ACB winning streak.

Estu made it eight league victories out of eight under new coach Mariano de Pablos after beating second-bottom Bruesa 95-81 at their Madrid Arena.

Although the win failed to see Estu improve on their ninth-placed position, they are now level on 15-13 records with the two teams immediately above them, Pamesa Valencia and Unicaja Malaga, who occupy the final two play-off berths.

De Pablos' side now have six ACB games left in which to secure a top eight finish, but before that they will go for glory in the EuroCup.

"Now we have to concentrate on this weekend, independent of what comes after it and what we can obtain," said De Pablos, whose side play play Spanish rivals Akasvayu Girona in the Final Four on Friday, with Virtus Bologna and Azovmash meeting in the other semi.

Estu were the only one of the four teams to win in their domestic leagues leading into the EuroCup, and De Pablos believe it was an "important victory".

The hosts led 26-23 after the first period but they were pegged back in the following 10 minutes to go into the interval all-square at 43-43.

However, Estu stepped up a gear in the third quarter, outscoring Bruesa 24-14, en route to a 14-point victory.

"In the first half they (Bruesa) have set the rhythm of the game more than us," De Pablos said.

"But, in the second half, we have improved in defence, we have improved in rebounding and we have been able to run more.

"It has been important to increase the physical aspect in the third quarter," he added.

"For them, it has been hard to reach our level, but Bruesa are a team who are playing better than their results suggest, such as in the last two games against Barcelona and Fuenlabrada."

Marlon Garnett paced Estu with 22 points and Caio Torres added 15 points and nine rebounds, while for Bruesa Diego Ocon contributed a match-high 24 points and six boards.

Bruesa, who have now lost four on the trot, remain in the bottom two of the standings following their defeat in the capital.

In Monday's other ACB game, Etosa Alicante defeated CB Granada 84-77 despite a huge performance from visiting center Oriol Junyent, who scored 17 points and hauled down 13 rebounds.

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