Round 29 of the Spanish Liga ACB was played out over the weekend and there was no lack of exciting basketball for diehard fans of Spanish hoops. One of the most important and interesting games of the round was a stunning upset by Divina Seguros Juventut Badalona over league-leading FC Barcelona Lassa, 89-77.
The game was critical for both clubs as it erased Barca’s one-game lead over El Clasico rivals, Real Madrid. They still have the tiebreaker advantage, so despite their identical 22-5 records, Barcelona still retains the top spot in the league standings. The loss abruptly ends the five-game winning streak that Barcelona was on.
On the other side of the coin, Joventut got a big boost as the win takes them to 15-13, moving them up to seventh place in the standings and improving their chances to advance into the playoffs with just five more rounds left to be played.
The hosts played well, not sacrificing their defense and pressuring their guests at every play. This allowed the green shirts to stay in control for most of the contest with Barcelona playing catch-up. They would mount a rally in the fourth quarter but Joventut would be steadfast and hold on for the victory.
Luke Harangody put up a well-rounded performance for Joventut, posting 16 points, six rebounds an five assists with three steals. He led a balanced offense with three other teammates chipping in with double-digit scoring. Nicolas Laprovittola and Thaddeus McFadden chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
On the side of Barcelona, only Chris Singleton and Pau Ribas eclipsed the 10-point mark with 16 and 13 points of their own.
3-point shooting with be where Joventut found their edge on the offensive end going 15-for-30, while Barcelona struggled to keep up, making just 9-of-23 shots from deep.
Teams like Joventut are playing like their postseasons are depending on it and indeed they are. The Spanish ACB is reaching a fever-pitched intensity as three, maybe four teams in the bottom half of the top-10 are jockeying for position in the standings, hoping to make into that magic eight, who will advance to the playoffs.
Here are the complete results of Round 29 in the Spanish ACB:
- Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 101-92 Fuenlabrada
- Unicaja Malaga 91-70 Burgos
- Manresa 86-96 UCAM Murcia
- Joventut 89-77 FC Barcelona Lassa
- Tenerife 87-83 Andorra
- Real Madrid 94-89 Breogan
- Gipuzkoa 85-72 Obradoiro
- Estudiantes Madrid 86-96 Herbalife Gran Canaria
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