As was reported earlier, ACB play offs to continue…, the strike that the Liga Endesa was threatened with by the players and their union was called off and the playoffs resumed Sunday. It was a day of nail-biters as two contests went to overtime, one ended with a one-point margin and Real Madrid swept Blusens Monbus to grab the first slot in the semifinals.
CAI Zaragoza – Valencia Basket, 122:120
In the “Prince Felipe” Pavillion (Pabellón «Príncipe Felipe» de Zaragoza), in front of 8,300 friendlies, CAI Zaragoza took Valencia Basket to three extra frames before finally outlasting their visitors 122:120, knotting their best-of-three series at a game each. The game set a record for the most points scored in Liga Endesa playoff history, was the first triple-OT game in playoff history, and the 122 points CAI scored was the most scored since 1986. Amazingly, CAI’s Game 2 total of 122 points was what both clubs scored in Game 1, when Valencia defeated Zaragoza 80:42 at home. No, that’s not a typo, CAI scored 42 points in Game 1 and 122 points in Game 2, meaning they now hold the records for the lowest number of points scored in a playoff game (42) and the highest number of points scored in a playoff game (122).
Michael Roll led seven from CAI in double figures with 19, Sam Van Rossom added 18, Joseph Jones dropped in 17, Damjan Rudez contributed 15, Jon Stefansson, Pedro Llompart, and Pablo Aguilar all scored 14.
Justin Doellman’s 29 points for Valencia was game-high, Pau Ribas added 21, Vitor Luiz Faverani scored 16, Rafa Martinez added 14, and Bojan Dubljevic sank 11.
Game 3 will return the clubs to Valencia on Tuesday.
Uxue Bilbao Basket – FC Barcelona Regal, 90:89
Game 1 of the Bilbao-Barça series tipped off in Barcelona on Thursday, with the hosts sending their guests packing with a 26-point beating, 88:62. Game 2 started out with Bilbao looking to get some revenge jumping out to an 11-point advantage after the first 10, 15:26. Regal dominated the second half, but Bilbao hung on, fought hard and held off a last minute challenge, and picked up a huge win to tie the series at a game each. The clubs will now head back to Barcelona for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Coming out of the first frame with an 11-point lead, the hosts kept the pressure on and added seven more to the advantage in the second by outscoring Barça 22:15, to head into the dressing rooms with Bilbao up 48:30.
After the break Regal got things together and countered the seven points they lost in the second with an 18:25 third quarter. That still left them with the 11 spot the home club put on them in the first with the score sitting at, 66:55, with a quarter to play.
Barcelona did what they do, ran points together, gave the ball to Juan Carlos Navarro, and pulled to within a point, 90:89, but couldn’t close the deal and Uxue survived to see Game 3. They’ll get together again on Tuesday in Barcelona.
Lamont Hamilton dropped in 19 to lead Bilbao, Alex Mumbru and Roger Grimau added 15 each, and Konstantinos Valileiadis tallied 13.
Erazem Lorbek was game-high for Barcelona with 20, Navarro and Marcelo Tieppo Huertas each scored 19, and Ante Tomic dropped in 12.
Herbalife Gran Canaria – Laboral Kutxa, 83:78OT
In the first contest of the best-of-three series between Gran Canaria and Laboral, a single point separated the clubs with Laboral coming out on top to go up 1-0 in the series. In Game 2, they battled to the final buzzer and needed an extra five to decide the victor, with the hosts knotting the series at a game each on an 83:78 win. They’ll head back to Fernando Buesa Arena on Tuesday for Game 3.
The hosts got out to a small early head, taking the first 10, 19:18. In the second Laboral got the advantage by five with a 13:19 quarter, to head into the break up 32:37. The game stayed low scoring with the home club cutting their deficit by a point on a 15:14 third quarter, giving the visitors a 47:51 lead. Herbalife GC closed the gap in the forth, knotting things up in the closing seconds to head into the extra frame tied at 67. A late triple put the hosts up for good in OT to send the series to a decisive Game 3.
Ryan Toolson was game-high for Gran Canaria with 17, Tomas Bellas added 15, Brad Newley dropped in 13, Spencer Nelson scored 11, and Eulis Baez added 10.
Andres Nocioni led Laboral with 13 points and 12 rebounds, Nemanja Bjelica contributed 12, Fernando San Emeterio scored 11, Milko Bjelica and Tibor Pleiss added 10 each.
Blusens Monbus – Real Madrid, 58:74
Real Madrid punched their ticket to the semis with a 58:74 win over Blusens Monbus in Game 2 of the Liga Endesa playoffs. The win gives Madrid two straight wins in their best-of-five series, and now they wait for the winner of the Valencia Basket – CAI Zaragoza series. Madrid won Game 1, 90:75, at home.
The guests got the early lead, taking the first quarter 10:16. In the second, Blusens Monbus fought back and pulled to within one at the half, 33:34. Madrid ran away with the contest in the third quarter, holding the hosts to just 12 points, while tallying 22, giving them a 45:56 advantage with 10 minutes left on the clock to play. The fourth was much the same, with the guests adding another five to their margin, but Blusens played hard through final buzzer, giving their fans a proper sendoff to the season.
Jaycee Carroll led Madrid with 25 and Sergio Llull added 16 to the win. Alberto Corbacho paced Monbus with 11, and Robbie Hummel dropped in 10.