Valencia Basket reaches the semifinals of the Cup but loses Raquel Carrera | Basketball | Sports

Shot of the match between Valencia BC and IDK Euskotren.

When IDK Euskotren, midway through the second quarter, caught Valencia Basket on the scoreboard (20-20), Rubén Burgos was clear. The Valencian coach turned, made a gesture to Alina Iagupova and took her out onto the court. From there, a 16-6 run came that allowed them to go into the break ten points ahead (36-26). The advantage did not manage to bring a smile to the ‘taronja’ players because a little earlier, with just over two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Raquel Carrera made a great drive to the basket and scored, but hurt herself when she fell. Her reaction, the gesture of pain, instantly alerted us to the seriousness of the problem in the player’s right knee, and she left the court on a stretcher crying. The Galician center has already suffered a torn meniscus in the other knee that kept her away from the fields between November 2021 and April 2022. In the absence of a definitive diagnosis, the great fear, beyond the Cup and the outcome of the League with his club, is whether the Olympic Games could also be in danger for one of the great stars of Spanish basketball.

Burgos measures Iagupova’s muscle. The Ukrainian forward is 32 years old and she is one of the stars of this Queen’s Cup that is held in Huelva. So her coach prefers to reserve her as much as possible while waiting for more demanding encounters. In the quarterfinals she gave him 23 minutes, plenty of time to score 15 points and make the difference.

Although Valencia Basket knows that if they trust everything to offensive talent they can get unpleasant surprises. IDK Euskotren did not disengage from the game even when they were 16 points behind. He has fewer resources, but he makes up for it with the determination of the group and of individuals like Mbulito. Valencia Basket, on the other hand, has a lot to choose from and in the second half they put Awa Fam into play, the 17-year-old girl from Alicante who is one of the pearls of the quarry and who has not quite entered the team’s rotation. .

The one who is almost always there is Queralt Casas, with his fangs and his agile hands in defense, and a speed of his legs in attack that unbalances any defender. The Catalan guard closed the tie with 12 points, six rebounds and two recoveries to be the most valuable player of the game. Minutes later, in the press room, she couldn’t help but get excited when they asked her about her partner Raquel Carrera. A player of her experience does not need a diagnosis to intuit the severity of the injury.

In the second half, Valencia ended up gaining an advantage on the scoreboard, with very good minutes from Nadia Fingall and Elena Buenavida, which allowed them to advance to the semifinals without straining the machine. The big doubt, beyond the impact of Carrera’s injury, is the physical condition of Cristina Ouviña, the base of the team that won the League, which reappeared in Huelva and only played 18 minutes. But neither she nor Leti Romero, the other game director, seem to be going through their most inspired moment and will have to demonstrate their leadership capacity in the semifinals and, if it arrives, the final of a Valencia Basket that leaves the quarterfinals diminished.

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