Caja Laboral have clinched a Euroleague Top 16 spot after they destroyed Cedevita Zagreb 97-70 at the Fernando Buesa Arena.
This result means that the Spanish side finish with a 4-6 record in Group C and end the regular season in fourth place after winning their last three games when it seemed that qualification was unlikely.
“Many people asked to me if I thought we would be able to make it to the Top 16. I said ‘I believed’, and now I’m happy to say we made it,” Caja Laboral coach Zan Tabek said afterwards.
“I won’t say it was easy, I don’t say we played great basketball all the time, but the team reacted pretty well.”
Fabien Causeur led the victors with 23 points, closely followed by Nemanja Bjelica with 22. The Spaniards can look forward to the next round knowing that in the last three games, they put their heart and soul into it and on their day; they can beat anybody.
The Croats were led by Mickael Gelabele and Goran Suton with 12 points each, the former is expected to have played his last game for Cedevita Zagreb who are out.
Zalgiris finished top of a Euroleague regular season group for the first time this century after they saw-off Anadolu Efes 71-53 in Kaunas.
Leading from tip-to-buzzer, the Lithuanian champions success in Group C never looked in doubt as they comfortably beat an Anadolu Efes side who had already qualified, regardless of this result.
Paulius Jankunas led Zalgiris with 18 points as the Lithuanians finish with an 8-2 record, while the Istanbul outfit end with a 5-5 record, good for third. They were led by Kerem Gonlum, who had 13 points.
Euroleague champions Olympiacos made hard work of it, but they eventually beat EA7 Milano 82-81 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
This loss condemns Milano to fifth place with a 3-7 record, thus eliminating them from the Euroleague despite a bright start. The Reds finished second with an 8-2 record, but ended behind Zalgiris due to the head-to-head.
Vassilis Spanoulis, who was awarded his Euroleague Player of the Month trophy before the game paced the Reds with 18 points, supported by 16 points and seven rebounds from Kyle Hines. Keith Langford, whose jumper missed the target with seconds left to give Olympiacos the win led the Italians with 21 points.