A couple of offensive explosions, the return to where everything started, the beginning of problems and bad luck with injuries, this week in Spain. Martín and Norel are the MVP’s.
Spectacular offensive resources showed in Valladolid, where the home team Blancos de Rueda destroyed Ucam Murcia 91-57. The visiting team never had a chance after a first quarter which finished 28-12. Since then, the gap between both teams did nothing but increase. Nacho Martín (one of the MVP’s of the week alongside Henk Norel), Jordi Grimau and Ian O’Leary combined for 56 points to led their team. In Murcia, only inside players Kim Tillie and Marcus Lewis scored in double digits.
Blusens Monbus won a thriller against Herbalife Gran Canaria thanks to a key three-pointer by Benjamin Dewar in last few seconds. A great defense on Salah Mejri allowed Gran Canaria to lead the score almost all the time, but in the last quarter Levon Kendall and Rafa Luz put their team ahead. Brad Newley scored 20 points in a losing effort. This win helps Blusens Monbus to stay in playoffs one more week, a win away from Gran Canaria. The score was 70-72.
Qyntel Woods returned to score 25 points and help Lagun Aro GBC not to lose sight of Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada in the standings. The home team downed CB Canarias 89-77 thanks to a good third quarter when the gap went up to 16 points. Ekene Ibekwe and David Doblas dominated under the boards. Blagota Sekulic and and Fotis Lampropoulos scored 16 and 15 points each to avoid the defeat, but they couldn’t. In spite of still being in relegation, the home team is only 1 win away from both Cajasol and Fuenlabrada. CB Canarias is 3 wins ahead from dangerous positions.
Key win for Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada on the road. An unexpected victory over Uxue Bilbao Basket 82-90, being the home team one of the contenders to win Eurocup Final within two weeks. James Feldeine came back to life after some disappointing games with 19 points. Rob Kurz had an all-around game with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks for an index rating of 23. Many players had good numbers for Bilbao, such as Nikos Zisis and Roger Grima, who scored 15 and 14 points each, but the visiting team had a bigger desire to win, improving to 9-18 and tying Cajasol. Bilbao remains fourth in the standings.
Henk Norel came back to Badalona, the city where he learned to play basketball, and showed everybody that he knows how to do his job with 16 points and 13 rebounds, being the other MVP of the week. Nobody could stop him and by the halftime Cai Zaragoza had already won the game, having only to protect the margin during the second half. Alejandro Suárez, young power forward of Fiatc Joventut, proved again to be one of the most intriguing prospects in the league with 11 points and 3 rebounds in just 17 minutes. Cai Zaragoza won 59-71 to keep on the race for playoffs while Joventut is now 1 win away.
Unicaja exploded to destroy Caja Laboral 93-72 in a brilliant game by Sergi Vidal, Luka Zoric (as usual) and Andy Panko. The home team had already scored 51 points by the halftime, leading the score 15 points ahead from the Basque team. San Emeterio and Causeur combined for 44 points to help their team, but after a bad game by Maciej Lampe it was impossible. In addition to this, the wining side grabbed 12 more rebounds to make it even more difficult. The Andalusian team still fights to reach playoffs while Caja Laboral stays at the second position.
Real Madrid won an easy game at home against Cajasol Seville 84-74. Despite the final score, the difference between both teams was huge during the game, but in the final minutes the visiting team tried to decrease the disadvantage. For Real Madrid, up to 5 players broke into double-digits in scoring, while for Cajasol only Satoransky and Blakney did a good job. Lots of problems for Cajasol in scoring and rebounding, still waiting for Latavious Williams to come and save the team, because Mensah-Bonsu is proving not to be fully recovered from his injury, needing a lot of playing time in a team that can’t afford to do so. The Sevillian team is now only 1 win ahead from relegation, and it seems that the ending part of the season is going to be very entertaining.
Asefa Estudiantes got a win over Basquet Manresa in a game that the Catalonian team played until the last quarter, but once again, the fight ended there. German Gabril and Daniel Clark combined for 39 points with their in-and-out game. The home team managed to get a nice lead during the final quarter to secure the win, letting Manresa 4 wins aways from avoiding relegation with only 7 games left. The worst new for Estudiantes was Carl English’s bad luck, since he got his should injured and will be sidelined at least the next 3 weeks, a key time of the season since they are only 1 win away from playoffs.
On Monday, FC Barcelona Regal blowed past Valencia Basket 94-62. The visiting team could count with new additions Will Hanley and Adam Hrycaniuk, because Bojan Dubljevic was the only center available after the injuries of Pietrus, Faverani, Lishuck and Doellman. Barcelona took advantage of this and Ante Tomic, Erazem Lorbek and CJ Wallace netted 42 points together. Valencia had lots of problems to score because they could only play with only 8 senior players, being 2 of them newcomers. And that fact against Barcelona is such a powerful fact. Anyway, they are still two wins ahead from ninth position, but they will have to deal with the absence of some key players during next weeks. Barcelona remains alone in third position with 18-9 record.
Next week more!