The regular season in Spain is coming to an end in one month, and just like in the Radiohead song, the game 30 of the Liga Endesa ACB brought no alarms and neither any surprises to any of the teams at the top 4 spots. The big guys –Barcelona, Real Madrid, Caja Laboral and Valencia- won, so there’s any change at the seeds that will give the home court advantage in the playoffs.
Barcelona’s game against Unicaja didn’t have much of a thrill. The Andalusians, a decadent and dead team, weren’t able to match the Catalans, and lost at home by 32 points. Boniface N’Dong was lethal against his former team, with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Real Madrid got away with a victory against Estudiantes in the Madrid derby, the biggest local rivalry in the Spanish league. Both teams were in opposite situations; Real wants to contend Barcelona for the league title, their rivals are suffering while trying to avoid relegation. Pablo Laso’s men had it hard facing Estudiantes’ likely swan song, with a huge Germán Gabriel (26 points). Jaycee Carroll, in the day of his comeback, was key to the recovery of Real Madrid, that at one point was losing by 19 points.
The third team, Caja Laboral, didn’t have an easy match. UCAM Murcia visited Vitoria having upset recently teams like Lagun Aro, but without the outside threat of guard Quincy Douby, injured. Caja Laboral wasn’t at its best level lately, even with Andrés Nocioni coming back from the NBA, and needed Brad Oleson and Maciej Lampe doing their best for winning Murcia, a team on a mission to stay in ACB next year, by 6 points.
One of the games with more at play was the one in La Fonteta, Valencia’s court. Gescrap Bilbao visited the orange team challenging them for the fourth spot, but the Valencians continued their streak of good basketball under new coach Velimir Perasovic, forgetting about the loss in Eurocup finals, and secured that home court advantage playoff spot by winning 66 – 63 with 15 points by Nik Caner Medley.
Real Madrid 85 Asefa Estudiantes 80
Lucentum Alicante 76 Assignia Manresa 70
Caja Laboral 71 UCAM Murcia 65
Unicaja 57 FC Barcelona Regal 89
Lagun Aro GBC 90 FIATC Mutua Joventut 85
CAI Zaragoza 80 Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada 78
Valencia Basket 66 Gescrap Bizkaia 63
Blancos de Rueda Valladolid 72 Banca Civica 77
Blusens Monbus 65 Gran Canaria 2014 45