With just three weeks left in the regular season, the intensity in the fighting for the playoffs picked up, as we saw some great games and some big upsets also.
Barcelona continued their winning ways in the league as they faced Bilbao and won comfortably 80-73.
The score doesn’t tell the whole story as Barca took a double digit lead early in the fourth and managed to close the game down the stretch. The Catalans are well known for their shooting and they displayed it again in this one hitting 11 three-pointers.
Ante Tomić led the hosts with 14 points and Alex Mumbru is still playing like a young man as he led Bilbao with 17.
Real Madrid needed the late game tip in from Gustavo Ayon to secure a 84-83 win over a stubborn MoraBanc Andorra side.
Early in didn’t seem it will go that way as Real jumped up to an early 20-6 lead after Ayon’s dunk. Andorra responded until the end of the half and took 39-38 lead after Georgios Bogris lay up who led Andorra with 16. Visitors even got to a seven-point lead heading into the third.
Real was able to fight back in the fourth, having the last possession to win the game and after couple of misses from Felipe Reyes under the rim, Ayon tipped in a game winner with 1.3 left on the clock.
Sergio Rodriguez led Real with 18. With this win, Madrid has they secured the number 1 seed for the playoffs.
It was due largely to Unicaja Malaga’s 78-66 loss in Obradorio, which gave the number one seed to Real, as the visitors from Malaga couldn’t deal with terrific Adam Waczynsky who had 24 for the hosts.
Obradorio was down nine heading into the third, but they played great defense in that quarter limiting Unicaja to only nine points and turning the result around.
Ryan Toolson led Unicaja with 13 in this one. Club for Malaga will have everything to play for in the last two games as they look to defend their current number 2 seed from Barcelona who is only a game behind.
After losses to Fuenlabrada and Murcia, Laboral Kutxa lost another game this week in Estudiantes 86-76. They started from behind from the get go, but managed to stay in it and took a 31-30 lead, but it was all a downfall after that. In the third they managed to hang around as they were still down 13 heading into the last period.
Some really bad basketball from Laboral Kutxa was on display in the fourth as the hosts toyed with the visitors from Baskonia as they jumped up to a 21 point lead and closed the game out in the easy fashion. Many turnovers, 1 on 5 offensive possessions, allowing alley-oops and not getting back on defense by Laboral played a big part in that run from Estudiantes.
Nacho Martin had 20 for the hosts, and Mike James was only engaged for Baskonia with 21. Once a Euroleague team could easily lose their playoff spot if they lose to Real and Obradorio in the last two games, and if they keep playing this way, they will.
Elsewhere around the league Joventut kept Fuenlabrada at the bottom of the table as they won a close one 77-73. Zaragoza kept Manresa in the relegation spot with the win over them 82-77. Gran Canaria won in Sevilla 83-75, Murcia crushed Gipuzkoa Basket 99-68 and Valencia edged out Tenerife 81-74.