No surprises in the second round of Liga Endesa, with the top teams winning as expected and unexpected big wins by promising teams. Mirotic and Kravic were named MVPs of this round.
RETAbet Bilbao Basket 70 – 81 Iberostar Tenerife
It seems Tenerife is willing to maintain the great level displayed last season and this time it was Bilbao that suffered a defeat at home. Bruno Fitipaldo, new addition coming from Burgos, played great, scoring 19 points, as well as big man Giorgi Shermadini. Marcelinho Huertas, who is still giving masterclasses every round at his 37 years, controlled the game for the visiting team and dished nine assists. For Bilbao, only Jaylon Brown could keep the pace in a game that had a clearl winner at the end of the first half, with Tenerife enjoying a 13-point lead which they maintained until the end of the game.
BAXI Manresa 76 – 80 Monbus Obradoiro
A thriller was played in Manresa, with ambitious Obradoiro taking the win home by just four points after a hard-fought game. Newcomer Birutis had a great night again scoring 14 points, well assisted by American center Mike Daum, who controlled the boards with 11 points and nine rebounds. Manresa had its best weapons in veterans Báez and Dani Pérez to oppose the visiting team, but two late free throws by Daum sealed the deal. Mason had a three-pointer to win but missed.
UCAM Murcia 93 – 80 Movistar Estudiantes
A trio of players for Murcia combined to score 63 points, and that was it. Davis, Cate and Frankamp had an amazing scoring streak for the local team and they broke the game in the third quarter. Estudiantes could do nothing about that, with newcomer John Roberson scoring 20 points. Murcia moved the ball better, and they had less turnovers, so all in all they managed to control the game and get the first win of the season.
Unicaja Málaga 70 – 79 Barcelona
Great win for Barcelona versus a still under-construction Unicaja Malaga,, which did what they could until great Nikola Mirotic got the ball in his hands and started to score one basket after another, until he filled 24 points in the stats sheet. Alex Abrines added 21 points, which is great news for the Spanish NT, since one of the best small forwards in the country is finally back. Good game for Mekel, with nine points and six assists, and Brizuela, who scored 17 points in the losing effort.
Urbas Fuenlabrada 73 – 89 TD Systems Baskonia
No problems for Baskonia in Fuenlabrada. After winning the ACB league last season, it seems the Basque team is again becoming the powerhouse they were just a few years ago, when Dusko Ivanovic was coaching the team. Is it a coincidence? Not likely to be. Dusko is back and, with him, some feeling of dominance is back too. It is also worth noting that Fuenlabrada is going to struggle this year. A lot. Melo Trimble can score, and he proved it with 28 points, but there are not many more reasons to fear this team. On the other hand, you have Giedraitis, Vildoza and Henry, who can score easily in barely 20 or 25 minutes of playing time, but not only that. This time, it was Peters who added 11 points and Jekiri, who dominated under the boards with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Fuenlabrada tried its best, but it was a defeat by a big margin at the end of the day, as expected.
Valencia Basket 91 – 76 MoraBanc Andorra
First win for Valencia, after a great game by the whole team, with up to five players scoring in double digits. Andorra played well until the beginning of the last quarter, when they suddenly stopped scoring. As a result of this “blackout”, the local team managed to get a 15-point lead which was good enough to get the first win for one of the most reinforced teams this season. Kalinic and Hermannsson led the local team with 13 and 14 points, respectively.
Coosur Real Betis 57 – 78 Joventut Badalona
Joventut came to Seville with a plan in mind. They have Ante Tomic, one of the most dominant centers in Europe in recent years, who shifted teams in Catalonia this year, moving from Barcelona to Badalona. Still, they prefer to score three-pointers. And they scored a lot. The local team, playing its first game this season, and its fourth game overall since March when the league was put on hold, managed to stay in the game by sheer will during the first half. But, this will was not enough in the third quarter, which finished with the visiting team enjoying a 20-point lead (42-62), which was increased to 21 (44-65) in the last quarter, when the game was completely over.
Ribas paced the Catalonian team with 12 points, well supported by Tomic and Bassas. For Betis, only Ouattara scored 10 points, but with a poor shooting chart. Many things are yet to be improved and polished by the Sevillian team, although it is still early in the season to be too harsh on them.
Hereda San Pablo Burgos 92 – 60 Herbalife Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria took a severe beating by Burgos, which has found a new leader in Serbian center Dejan Kravic. The big man scored 20 points. Americans Thad McFadden and Ken Horton scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. For Gran Canaria, Jacob Willey was the top scorer with 14 points, most of them in the last quarter when the game was already over.
Real Madrid 102 – 83 Casademont Zaragoza
Zaragoza had a great season last year. A mix of young and experienced players, along with a coach who likes to play a fast and attractive game. The coach, Porfi Fisac, left, and the new coach is still struggling to find the right balance between his players. On the other hand, Real Madrid is a deep and experienced team, where all players know each other very well. In spite of some problems during the summer, with Argentinian point guard Campazzo not sure about whether to stay or go to the NBA, this is a team built to win (and last). So, in this early game of the season, the local team had no problems to defeat the promising visiting team. French guard Causeur led the charge with 25 points, while Rudy Fernández and Tavares did a great job too. For Zaragoza, Argentinian forward Brussino netted 15 points in the losing effort.