Round 12 saw the farewell to Campazzo, while Tenerife managed to snatch a key win from Valencia.
UCAM Murcia 84 – 81 Urbas Fuenlabrada
Very important win for Murcia in a match where they overcame a 9-point gap in the last quarter. Frankamp and Trimble, two of the best scorers in the league, faced each other, and while the visiting guard scored more (24), it was Frankamp who played a more complete game, with 19 points and 10 assists, giving his team a very valuable win. Bellas and Lima added 13 points apiece, while Marc García scored 17 points for the visiting team.
Herbalife Gran Canaria 62 – 79 MoraBanc Andorra
Gran Canaria, the two-faced team of the league (just qualified for the next round in Eurocup while placed at the bottom 3 in Spain) lost another match at home against a similar rival, Andorra. One of the enigmas of this year in Spain. The visiting team did not give any chances, though, and killed the game in a third quarter where the score was 6-25. Jelinek, Gielo and Tunde combined to score 37 points for the visiting team, while, for the local team, only Ferrari and Dimsa managed to score over 10 points, with a poor shooting chart anyway.
Monbus Obradoiro 63 – 78 Hereda San Pablo Burgos
Burgos is playing at full steam, showing no signs to slow their pace. Maybe the key is that coach Peñarroya managed to make every player feel comfortable within his fun playing style. Even veteran players like Renfroe (1986) are playing at a level that was not expected at this point in his career: 31 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for him. Also McFadden seems to be having fun, with 14 points. Kravic added 14 points and 11 rebounds to dominate Birutis in the paint, who did not have his best game. Cohen scored 14 and grabbed 9. In addition to him, only Pozas (12) and Enoch (11) managed to score more than 10 points for the local team.
Movistar Estudiantes 90 – 92 Unicaja Málaga
Tough win for Unicaja against a good Estudiantes which is proving that this year, for the first time in a while, they should be aiming at playing some European competition next year, and not to avoid relegation. In a modern basketball where it is usual for a team to score above 10 three-pointers in each game, Unicaja managed to win even if they only scored 6. Alberto Díaz and Waczynski had a great night, while great scoring efforts by Gentile (20) and Brown (19) proved to be not enough to secure the win.
Acunsa GBC 68 – 99 Joventut Badalona
Easy game for Joventut in San Sebastian. It seems obvious by now that the Basque team should do something and add new players if they want to avoid relegation this year, because only Echenique and maybe Radoncic have the level to play in the top league in Europe. For Joventut, it was so easy that Tomic only had to shoot 4 times to win by 31 points. Nothing much else to say.
Coosur Real Betis 89 – 96 RETAbet Bilbao Basket
Critical game played in Seville between two of the weakest teams in the competition so far. Both teams needed to win desperately to run away from relegation places, but it was the visiting that played more confident and got the win in the end.
The first half was played at a high pace, with both teams running from one side of the court to the other as soon as they grabbed the ball. Feldeine did not have a great scoring night, with Serron and Brown defending him very well, while visiting sharpshooters had plenty of reasons to be happy, with Zyskowski and Kulboka scoring a few three-pointers each. The first half finished 37-42, with everything yet to be discussed in the second half.
In the third quarter, the local team managed to stay in the game until Balvin erupted with three consecutive dunks to give his team an 8-point lead (51-59). He was unstoppable, and took advantage of the weak defense by local centers Ndoye and Niang. The score by the end of the third quarter was 62-72. In the last quarter, things remained the same. The local team tried hard to tie the score, but Balvin and Kulboka made sure this did not happen. Balvin finished the game with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. He was again the dominant center we used to see last year.
Valencia Basket 89 – 95 Iberostar Tenerife
This is what happens when you a closed league, allowing teams to play there just through invitation: you miss the chance to enjoy teams like Tenerife, who managed to beat a Euroleague team like Valencia playing a very interesting basketball. Regulars like Huertas, Shermadini, Fitipaldo and Dornekamp have a great sense of collective playing, and it is just a joy to watch them play. Up to 6 players scored in double digits. On the other hand, Valencia struggled to keep the pace. At this point in time, we are just wondering how many more games Derrick Williams will play for the team before being released. 0 points with just 2 shoots for him in 12 minutes today.
Casademont Zaragoza 85 – 97 Barcelona
Easy game for Barcelona against a team still struggling to find its place in the league this year after a few very good seasons. The visiting team killed the game in the third quarter, when they got an 18-point lead thanks to a brilliant defense. Higgins scored 17 points in just 17 minutes, while Oriola and Davies dominated under the boards with 14 and 12 points respectively. For Zaragoza, Ennis had an outstanding game, scoring 26 points while Benzing added 20 in the losing effort.
Real Madrid 100 – 78 BAXI Manresa
Easy game for Real Madrid in Facundo Campazzo´s farewell. The Argentinian star had a great game with 20 points and 4 assists, leaving a great taste in his last game before joining Nikola Jokic in Denver Nuggets. It will be very tough for Real Madrid to find a replacement for this stellar player who leaves after winning numerous titles. Manresa was just there to say goodbye too, since they barely stayed in the game until the third quarter. Sergio Llull had a good game with 17 points, while Eatherton led Manresa with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Bye Facu !
Ondrej Balvin was named MVP of this round thanks to his great game against Coosur Real Betis.