After defeating Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Euroleague, Laboral Kutxa made it a hat-trick by ending Valencia’s unbeaten run in the Liga Endesa, winning 79-73 in Vitoria.
Trailing 35-34 at the half in what was a physical encounter, Laboral Kutxa turned the screws in the third quarter and left the league leaders stunned, taking a 57-45 cushion going into the final quarter and despite late resistance from Valencia, who narrowed the gap to four points with under a minute left, Jaka Blazic made the game safe for Baskonia with a three from the corner.
Darius Adams led the winners with 21 points; including five triples as Laboral Kutxa remain in the top four.
The loss opened the door for second placed Barcelona, who are now one game behind Valencia after they edged Andorra 84-79 in Catalonia.
Barcelona though had to come from behind and were pushed all the way by this season’s surprise package, but fought through the Andorran line of defence in the second half to show their experience in getting the win.
Keeping Andorra at bay for that final playoff spot is Bilbao who eased to a 90-79 win over UCAM Murcia.
Pau Ribas and Stratos Perperoglou both had 17 points to lead Barca, who improves to 17-2. Andorra remains in ninth, just outside the playoff spots.
Third place Real Madrid bounced back from their loss in the Euroleague last week with a comfortable 97-79 win over Estudiantes in the Madrid derby.
Jaycee Carroll had an efficient 21 points for the champions, who are missing Felipe Reyes through injury.
Estudiantes’ loss drops them to the foot of the Liga Endesa table after Gipuzkoa secured their fourth win of the season by beating this year’s Copa del Rey hosts Rio Monbus 82-75.
Marcus Landry top scored for Gipuzkoa with 18 points.
Rio Monbus’ loss drops them into the relegation battle as Sevilla, one spot below them in sixteenth, claimed an 85-78 win over playoff hopefuls Fuenlabrada.
Elsewhere in the league and Zaragoza got back to winning ways, by beating Joventut Badalona 94-83, Unicaja Malaga ousted Tenerife 64-57 in a tightly-contested battle and Gran Canaria stayed in contention for a top four spot by overcoming Manresa 78-70 on the road.