The first half of the season is over and all eight teams qualified for the Copa del Rey are already known.
RETAbet Bilbao Basket 73 – 106 Valencia Basket
Easy win for Valencia against a team with plenty of injured players that was never able to match their level. Aminu scored 17 points for the local team, and that was the only good news for them. Young prospect Jaime Pradilla was the best player for Valencia, scoring 15 points and grabbing 3 rebounds in just 17 minutes. Labeyrie, Van Rossom and Tobey combined to score 45 points.
Coosur Real Betis 76 – 85 Hereda San Pablo Burgos
Burgos is a very good basketball team. The main reason is that the team is perfectly tuned. They move the ball so exquisitely well that there is always a player completely free to shoot. They need no stars, juts players able to score when there are free. That is the only secret. Keep in mind that veterans like Alex Renfroe (34) or Ken Horton (31) are playing their best basketball now. Against this, the local team had no reply in the first half, with the visiting team getting a comfortable 18-point lead (33-51). However, Betis managed to reduce the gap to 12 points by the end of the first half (43-55).
Coach Plaza must have told something important in the mid-half, because things completely changed in the third quarter. The local team put a lot more intensity in the game and they managed to slowly reduce the gap to tie the score (62-62), thanks to an unbelievable circus shot by Randle to finish the third quarter. Betis took advantage of the momentum and they managed to lead the score 70-66 in the last quarter, but Burgos was not dead at all, and took control of the game with a key performance by Dejan Kravic, who was stellar today with 23 points, 12 of them scored in the last quarter.
BAXI Manresa 76 – 99 Barcelona
Easy game for Barcelona in a game controlled by the Spanish powerhouse from the start to the end. Sajus, Vaulet and Janning score 12, 13 and 16 points apiece for Manresa, while Kyle Kuric and Cory Higgins combined to score 40 points for the visiting team. Nick Calathes flirted with the triple-double, scorgin 11 points, dishing 10 assists and grabbing 6 rebounds.
Herbalife Gran Canaria 96 – 85 Joventut Badalona
Gran Canaria is still on fire, improving its winning streak to 5-1 in the last six games. It seems that the numerous new additions were much needed to transform a team which was placed surprisingly low in the standings. Newcomers Stevic and Slaughter added 15 and 14 points each, while Albicy led the team with 11 points and 8 assists. The visiting team had a great game from behind the arc, and Joventut could not match that level of accuracy. López-Aróstegui and Brodziansky added 14 points each in the losing effort.
GBC 89 – 87 Iberostar Tenerife
Unexpected win for GBC against one of the best teams in the league. This is a key win since it puts the team back to the winning road after numerous defeats. What is most important, the team managed to overcome the loss of its best player Jaime Echenique, who will miss the remainder of the season. The new addition, Carlson, scored a buzzer-beater, for a total of 9 points, plus 3 rebounds. Johnny Dee was the top scorer with 20 points, while Okouo was a force under the boards with 12 points and 6 rebounds. For the visiting team, Shermadini and Cavanaugh had an amazing night and combined for a total of 40 points and 16 rebounds.
Unicaja Malaga 79 – 91 TD Systems Baskonia
Baskonia proved a bigger desire to win in a great basketball match between two of the most powerful teams in Spain. Unicaja managed to lead the score by 11 points at the end of the first quarter (30-19), but Baskonia worked hard the whole game to reduce the gap and turn the score and get a 13 point lead by the last quarter. It was an amazing effort for the Basque team. Alec Peters scored 21 point and Polonara added 20 and 7 rebounds, while Jekiri delivered 11 points and 7 rebounds. For the local team, Waczysnki and Brizuela had 17 and 13 points apiece in the losing effort.
Three games were postponed due to bad weather conditions in Madrid.
With this round finished, all eight teams to play the Copa del Rey in February are already known. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Iberostar Tenerife, TD Systems Baskonia, San Pablo Burgos, Valencia Basket, Joventut Badalona and Unicaja will fight for the crown in Madrid.