Liga Endesa round up (weeks 31 + 32)

Barcelona handed Real Madrid their second loss of the season by winning 86-75 but for Madrid, finishing top is still in their grasp with two games still to play.

 

In what was the perfect warm-up for their clash in the Euroleague Final Four on Wednesday, the Catalan side took control early on, leading 21-10 and despite a strong finish from the league leaders, Real left themselves with too big of a gap to fill.

Alex Abrines led Barca off the bench with 20 points with a big performance from Kostas Papanikolaou, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Earlier in the week, both sides recorded road wins with Real comfortably seeing off Fuenlabrada 94-67 and Barcelona having to earn their 84-72 win at Murcia.

Valencia needed overtime to keep the pressure on the league leaders, as they beat Cajasol Seville 104-93 in a day of celebration as the Eurocup trophy was on show and the championship banner was raised.

Despite leading for the majority of the game, Valencia were pegged back in the fourth by a determined Seville side who looked down and out when Vladimir Lucic hit from behind the arc with 2.8 seconds left in the fourth. Cajasol though forced overtime thanks to a three with a second left from Scott Bamforth; his only points of the game.  

Valencia though were too powerful in the extra period, holding Seville to just five points, en route to victory. Justin Doellman led the victors with 23 points.

Unicaja Malaga inflicted more woe for Fuenlabrada, by edging them 88-81 on the road. They thrashed basement side Valladolid 106-65, as they now confirmed to end the season bottom of the Liga Endesa.

Gran Canaria also enjoyed a double-winning week, by beating strugglers La Bruixa d’Or 95-65, then overpowering Gipuzkoa 79-57 over the weekend, as they remain fifth.

After starting the season horribly, Estudiantes can plan for next season the Liga Endesa by enjoying an 89-76 win at out-of-form Joventut Badalona. The Madrid-based side lost earlier in the week 80-65 to Zaragoza.

Week 31 results:

Laboral Kutxa 66-72 Gipuzkoa

Valladolid 65-106 Unicaja Malaga

Zaragoza 80-65 Estudiantes

Rio Natura 56-70 Cajasol

La Bruixa d’Or 65-95 Gran Canaria

Fuenlabrada 67-94 Real Madrid

Bilbao 83-90 Joventut Badalona

Murcia 72-84 Barcelona

Week 32 results:

Barcelona 86-75 Real Madrid

Unicaja 88-81 Fuenlabrada

Bilbao 92-64 Bruixa d’Or

Murcia 72-87 Tenerife

Valladolid 68-96 Zaragoza

Valencia 104-93 Cajasol Seville (AOT)

Gipuzkoa 57-79 Gran Canaria

Joventut Badalona 76-89 Estudiantes

Laboral Kutxa 83-72 Rio Monbus