THIS week marks the start of the second round of the Euroleague – Europe’s top tier basketball competition.
In the final gameweek of the first round, we had an all-Spanish clash as Baskonia and Barcelona went head to head with the Basques managing to hold on and defeat the Catalans by just two points, 76-74.
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This was a much needed win for Baskonia who have now moved to a record of 7-10 and sit in 12th place, four places outside the play-offs.
This defeat meant that the Blaugrana – another nickname for Barcelona – slipped to third place in the standings, allowing their arch rivals Real Madrid to move ahead of them into second.
The Queen – as Madrid is commonly referred to – defeated French champions ASVEL Villeurbanne, 87-77, and moved to a record of 14-3, one win ahead of Barcelona.
The fourth and final Spanish team in the Euroleague this season is Valencia, who defeated Alba Berlin from Germany, 91-77.
With this win the Bats – Valencia’s nickname – moved to 10th place with a record of 8-9, lying just outside the play-offs due to head to head results.
While the two El Clasico rivals seem to be cruising through to the play-offs, the other two Spanish teams have their work cut out for them and need to come up with some big wins in the second round in order to get all four Spanish teams in the play-offs, for the first time since the 2010-11 season.