Fuenlabrada upsets Real Madrid at Liga Endesa


There were more than a few surprises in Round 16 of the regular season at the Spanish Liga Endesa. Of the seven games played on Sunday, it was arguably the derby game between Montakit Fuenlabrada and Real Madrid that raised the most eyebrows. The eighth ranked Fuenlabrada upset fourth ranked Real Madrid, 91-85. The loss does not move Real Madrid from their hold on the fourth spot in the standings. They now trail third-placer, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria by one game.

Meanwhile, league leading Valencia Basket continued its undefeated run with a victory over CAI Zaragoza. FC Barcelona pulled off a dominant road win over Gran Canaria 81-96. Barca remains a strong and serious threat for the league’s pole position with their 15-1 record. They are just waiting for Valencia to slip up or have a bad game and a shake-up in the standings would soon become a possibility.

Fuenlabrada vs. Real Madrid, 91-85

Solid defense by Fuenlabrada could be credited for the outcome of this game. They played well and were quite active on the offensive glass all night. The game remained close throughout the first half. In fact Real Madrid managed to come out ahead by just two points, 47-49, as the teams headed into their respective locker rooms.

The second half was a completely different story. Fuenlabrada tightened its defense and pressured Sergio Rodriguez. Even though the point guard managed a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists, the green shirts forced him to commit six turnovers for the game. Real Madrid simply could not take care of the ball well enough in this game. As a team, they committed 19 turnovers, compared to Fuenlabrada’s nine. That was they key factor in determining the outcome of this contest.

In the third frame, Fuenlabrada exploded for a 21-13 run and it was the turning point of the game. Josip Sobin was unhindered by Real Madrid’s defense all night. He shot 12-of-13 from the field, practically scoring at will en route to his game-high 24 points. Marko Popovic was a great facilitator for his team with 15 points and seven assists.

Andres Nocioni was the top performer for Real Madrid with 21 points and 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Gustavo Ayon chipped in 16 points as well.

Real Madrid will get a chance to dust themselves off and go at it again next week. This time they are set to face seventh ranked Unicaja Malaga, another dangerous opponent. They will have to control their turnovers if they want to get back on the winning track.

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