Round 17 of the 2018-19 season in the Spanish Liga ACB (Liga Endesa) was completed on Sunday, January 20th. And while there were but a few surprises in the results, one of the most critical games played was a showdown between two top-4 teams. League leaders FC Barcelona faced off against third-placer Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria and emerged victorious on the road 73-82.
FC Barcelona sports an imposing 15-2 record and have managed to keep challengers to their pole position at bay so far this season. El Clasico rivals, Real Madrid sit in second place, two games behind them with a 13-4 record. Baskonia’s loss to Barca was a catalyst for Real Madrid’s rise. The team from Vitoria is now 12-5, one game ahead of three teams that are hot on their heels.
The game was a fast-paced
As expected, Ante Tomic was a force to be reckoned with for Barcelona, leading the team with 17 points on impressive 8-of-10 shooting from the field, adding nine boards and one assist. He’s been one of the better key franchise players in the Liga ACB and when healthy has spearheaded many a win for the Barcelona organization. Thomas Heurtel and Pau Ribas chipped in with 11 points, apiece.
Darrun Hilliard and Johannes Voigtmann paced Vitoria with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Barcelona stands tall for now but with the Spanish Liga ACB being one of the more competitive leagues in Europe, they cannot sleep soundly with their narrow two-game lead against their eternal rivals.
Here are the other results in Round 17:
- Breogan 65-77 Valencia Basket
- Estudiantes Madrid 86-62 Gipuzkoa
- Herbalife Gran Canaria 90-82 UCAM Murcia
- Manresa 78-83 Real Madrid
- Obradoiro CAB 89-86 Unicaja Malaga
- Burgos 65-87 Joventut
- Tecnyconta Zaragoza 77-87 MoraBanc Andorra
- Iberostar Tenerife 96-65 Fuenlabrada