Round 22 of the Spanish Liga Endesa saw the teams at the top of the standings jostle for position. The big winner on Sunday was Iberostar Tenerife, with the island club heading to the top of the standings in sole possession briefly while Read Madrid waited to play. By the end of the day, Madrid had lost and Tenerife claimed first position.
The loser in the Liga Endesa through Round 22 was Barcelona. Finally the club’s poor Turkish Airlines Euroleague form is transferring to domestic hoops. After finishing well short of the cup last week, Barca slipped in the league on Sunday. That loss allowed Valencia to remain third on its own on the back of its victory this weekend.
Fuenlabrada vs. Iberostar Tenerife, 61-85
Tenerife was far too strong for Fuenlabrada, despite being away from home. The Liga Endesa surprise package moved to 16-5 at the top of the standings thanks to this impressive win. Tenerife won this game in the second frame. After taking a small 13-15 lead in the first act, the guests exploded with a 3-29 second quarter. It was an amazing frame of Basketball that Fuenlabrada never recovered from.
Estudiantes vs. Barcelona, 83-81 OT
Barcelona fell to its second defeat in three games in a contest that went to overtime. The Catalan giant slipped to fourth on this loss, now holding a 14-6 record. It was a tight game throughout, but Barcelona had opened a 56-62 lead through thirty minutes and looked good for the win. However, Estudiantes rallied in the fourth act and tied the game at 74-74 as regulation time sounded. The hosts had the momentum and carried it into overtime, edging Barcelona in the deciding stanza.
Valencia vs. Joventut, 77-72
Valencia continued to capitalize on Barcelona’s recent poor form. The club downed Joventut to stay third on its own with a 15-5 record. The hosts had to come back after losing the first half 28-37. A big third quarter saw Valencia drain 24 points, but Joventut still led 52-59 with 10 minutes to play. The game was decided in the fourth as the hosts plundered 25 points and shored up the defence with 13 points conceded.
Real Madrid vs. Gran Canaria Las Palmas, 81-93
Gran Canaria travelled to the capital to play a Real Madrid team that rarely loses at home in the Liga Endesa. Indeed, the club went the whole of 2016 without failing on its own floor. There will be no repeat in 2017 as Gran Canaria picked up a shock win. This loss means Madrid relinquishes top spot in the standings to Tenerife, but holds onto second with a 15-5 record. The surprise is that Gran Canaria claimed a solid win, largely due to a fantastic 9-23 first quarter. Los Blancos got back into it, but Gran Canaria was too strong down the stretch.