The importance of the third quarter, a giant awakes, a win to keep believing, a dream that goes on and on and much more this weekend in Spain.
Outstanding performance by Stefan Markovic, who led his team Valencia Basket in the win over Herbalife Gran Canaria 68-56. Key win for the home team, since both teams were tied in the standings before the match. Nice performance by Justin Doellman too, while Spencer Nelson and Xavi Rey gave their best on the losing side.
FC Barcelona Regal had an easy game in Seville, where they beat Cajasol 72-91. The Catalonian always led the score with small margin, but in the third quarter Sarunas Jasikevicius paced his team to win by a 19-point margin. Nathan Jawai was huge in the paint while only Satoransky scored in a team which is having lots of problems on offense lately.
Caja Laboral kept the win home in the game against Lagun Aro GBC. Despite the visiting team’s winning streak, fighting to avoid relegation, Caja Laboral got a 16-point lead after the third quarter, and the team never lost control of the situation. Andres Nocioni and Tibor Pleiss were great for the winning side, while once again Morris Finley led Lagun Aro with 19 points. The visiting team missed Qyntel Woods a lot. The final score was 88-80.
Mad-Croc breaths a little deeper with its win over Blancos de Rueda Valladolid 84-74. Rob Kurz proved to be unstoppable under the boards with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Segii Gladyr added 14 points with 4 three-pointers, reminding people why he was supposed to be one of the top European prospects 3 years ago. Román Montáñez and Nacho Martín once again worked hard, but this time with little reward.
UCAM Murcia got a very valuable win over Unicaja Malaga 76-68. This way the home team snapped its 4-game losing streak. Maybe the Andalusian side was still thinking on the defeat against CSKA three days ago, because they only had a chance in the first half. A great third quarter by Joe Ragland, who scored 20 points gave his team a 59-44 lead, and the game ended there. Unicaja tried it in the last quarter, but in the end Txemi Urtasun’s efforts and his 20 points were useless.
Salah Mejri was the king Santiago de Compostela. His team Blusens Monbus bested Asefa Estudiantes 82-71 thanks to his 24 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Amazing. This week rumours were on him signing with Real Madrid for the next season. But not only Real, also FC Barcelona, Unicaja and Caja Laboral showed interest on him. In addition to him, Pavel Pumprla, less noisy but also a fantastic player, scored 13 points. This goes to show how important is to have a good scouting team at the time of choosing your players for the season. Germán Gabriel netted 19 points for Estudiantes, but Carl English’s horrible game, who went 2 for 8 on field goals, was too much for his team to overcome.
Basquet Manresa keeps fighting. Let’s not say alive, because they are 3 wins down to avoid relegation with 8 games left to play, but at least they still fight. The team downed Uxue Bilbao Basket at home 82-79, a valuable win over a good team. Josh Asselin scored 20 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead his team in a great third quarter. Anyway, Bilbao came from 19 points behind to almost defeat the home team, which finally protected the margin to have faith.
Real Madrid defeated Cai Zaragoza 75-84 thanks to a great final quarter, when the Spanish powerhouse scored 25 points to end its 3-game losing streak. Mirza Begic played his best game since being in Spain with 20 points and 6 rebounds, while Rudy Fernández added 18. Felipe Reyes netted 10 and grabbed 8 rebounds. It seems that when things get ugly, you always have to trust old leaders and left experiments aside. Henk Norel faced Begic with 15 points, but it was a losing effort. The team keeps its place in playoffs this week, though.
CB Canarias continues dreaming with its win over Fiatc Joventut 71-68. Blagota Sekulic paced his team with 19 points, but it was defense the key to win. For Joventut, only Corey Fished broke into double-digits in scoring with 28 points. CB Canarias is 4 wins ahead from relegation and 2 games away from playoffs. Do they have the right to dream or it is too much to ask? Time will tell, but this team is having an amazing season, being its first in the league. Fiatc Joventut doesn’t lose sight in spite of this defeat and ties Blusens Monbus and Unicaja to be on the race to reach the playoffs.
Salah Mejri and Rob Kurz are the MVP’s of the week. Blusens Monbus reaches playoffs while FC Barcelona stays alone at the third place. Lagun Aro GBC falls into relegation again after a week being safe.
Next week more !!!