Surprising weekend in Spain after 7 wins on the road and defeats for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Regal. Key wins for Cajasol Seville and Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada.
The problem with being playing such an important competition like Euroleague is that you have to keep your mind on it. And it comes the time to play the national league. Well, let’s say that you would prefer to skip those games for a week or two. You just don’t feel that one is your league at that particular time. And that is what happened to both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Regal. Playing home against rivals with a huge desire to win to preserve a spot in playoffs, the Spanish powerhouses couldn’t (or didn’t want) to reach to the required level. As a result those teams, named Blusens Monbus and Herbalife Gran Canaria, won their games because they wanted it more. In Madrid, Robbie Hummel proved again to be one of the future stars in Europe, and alonside with Ben Dewar, an all-around forward who always adds for his team, led their team to the win. On the other hand, in Barcelona, Brad Newley scored 18 points and Eulis Báez netted 13 and grabbed 7 rebounds to get the victory over a FC Barcelona that preserved Navarro from playing.
Both Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada and Cajasol Seville took a couple of giant steps forward to say goodbye to relegation. Mensah-Bonsu finally arrived in time and with a key tip-in sealed the win for the sevillian team in San Sebastian, against Lagun Aro GBC. The Basque team missed Morris Finley, pretty lost the last three games, and despite a final effort by Qyntel Woods in the last quarter, they almost say goodbye to the competition. At least for a couple of months, because nobody knows if some teams will continue or not next year in Liga Endesa. In Madrid, James Feldeine got his rifle and scored 17 points for Fuenlabrada against Asefa Estudiantes, which is now two games away from playoffs. As usual when Carl English is injured, the team asked Kyle Kuric to score more than he usually does, and again he answered yes with 19 points, but it was a losing effort.
Cai Zaragoza and CB Canarias won key games on the road too. Damjan Rudez continues with his happy time and scored 21 points in the win by 68-88 over Unicaja Malaga, a team which is not having a good time lately after not qualifying for Euroleage quarterfinals. But they will have to recover if they want to play the top European competition next season.Sam Van Rossom added 19 points for Zaragoza after an amazing last quarter to almost secure a spot in playoffs. The same place that CB Canarias is trying to reach after its win over Blancos de Rueda by 76-92. Blagota Sekulic scored 18 points and grabbed 8 rebounds proving that he has found a nice place to play in Canarias. We guess that sunny time helps everybody to improve in any sense. Same goes for Saúl Blanco and Ricardo Úriz, who finally found a team to establish himself as one of the best playmakers in the league being 33 years old. Some players need more time to develop, some less, and sometimes it is just a matter of how good your agent does his job properly. Who knows.
Bruixa D’Or Manresa continues to fight to win an impossible battle, despite being 5 wins away to avoid relegation with the same number of games yet to be played. It seems that the Catalonian team found a lucky horseshoe in its new partner, definitely a little bit too late. The only home win this weekend had a lot to do with 25 points for Troy DeVries over Ucam Murcia. For the visiting side, Joe Raglanf and Kim Tillie combined for 44 points, but it came too short after overcoming 18 points in the second half. After an overtime, the final score was 103-100.
Day after day Valencia Basket is recovering some of its key players. This weekend it was the time for Serhiy Lishchuk to show up. But it was Bojan Dubljevic who had an impressive evening with 27 points and 11 rebounds for an index rating of 37, being the MVP of the week. For Fiatc Joventut, Ognjen Kuzmic was completely shocked by the young Montenegrin center and went to the bench with 0 points and 4 personal fouls in only 15 minutes. Valencia entered the fourth quarter with a 20-point advantage and climbs to fourth place in the standings, while waiting for Uxue Bilbao to face Caja Laboral in a delayed game to be played on Wednesday because of the Eurocup final that took place this weekend in Charleroi. Joventut still has a chance to reach playoffs, but it is now 2 wins away from it.