With less than 10 weeks remaining in the 2016-17 regular season, a logjam has formed in the Spanish Liga Endesa standings. Round 26 has come and gone and after the dust has settled, it’s Valencia Basket that is able to lay claim to the top spot in the standings with their 18-6. Not too far behind them is Iberostar Tenerife (18-7). Valencia, by virtue of their win over Unicaja Malaga, captures the league leadership. That, and a recent tough loss suffered by Iberostar Tenerife at the hands of UCAM Murcia over the weekend.
If you think it’s a tight race between those top clubs, then you’ll be sitting on pins and needles if you’re a fan or a supporter of any of the four teams waiting in line.
Regular league powerhouses, FC Barcelona, Baskonia Gasteiz, and Real Madrid are a stone’s throw away with their identical 17-7 slates.
As things stand, if the playoffs were set today, it would Gran Canaria (17-8), Unicaja Malaga (15-9), and MoraBanc Andorra (12-12) would be completing the Top 8 landscape. Teams that are currently on the bubble are Montakit Fuenlabrada (11-14) in ninth place and RETAbet Bilbao Basket (10-13) in 10th.
The league is pretty polarized from there. Teams in the bottom half of the league need a little more than miracles to swing things drastically enough for them to slide through.
It’s been no small secret that the Spanish Liga Endesa is one of the most competitive domestic leagues in Europe. However, this mad dash for the top seed should be an amazing storyline to follow in the coming weeks.
Spanish Liga Endesa Round 26 Results:
FC Barcelona vs. MoraBanc Andorra, 102-65
Estudiantes Madrid vs. Baskonia Gasteiz, 70-76
Real Madrid vs. RETAbet Bilbao Basket, 104-76
CAI Zaragoza vs. Herbalife Gran Canaria, 57-102
ICL Manresa vs. Montakit Fuenlabrada, 82-90
Sevilla Basket vs. Joventut Badalona, 57-71
UCAM Murcia vs. Iberostar Tenerife, 79-68
Valencia Basket vs. Unicaja Malaga, 81-77