Round 25 of the Spanish Liga Endesa 2015-16 season recently concluded and there were a couple of surprises here and there as the race for the playoffs continue. As for the Top 3 teams, it was more of the same story as they came away with wins. FC Barcelona retains its hold on first place with its 23-2 record. They handily defeated bottom-dwelling Gipuzkoa, 69-84. Surely that was an expected outcome. Valencia Basket (22-3) are still in second place with a win over Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB 79-91. And Real Madrid had a successful home defense 96-84 over visiting CAI Zaragoza.
Of the Top 4 teams in the league, it was Laboral Kutxa Vitoria that had to endure the bitter taste of defeat this round. Now at 18-7, they lost on the road to fifth-placing club Gran Canaria (16-9). This does not affect the playoff chances of either club as both are secured of a berth into the post-season.
Things are still fluid as far as which teams will occupy the sixth to eighth spots. Fuenlabrada currently has ownership of the sixth place position thanks to their 80-89 road win over Andorra.
Unicaja Malaga secured a much needed crucial victory this round over Dominion Bilbao Basket, 82-77. Over the past three weeks Unicaja has surged into the Top 8 picture and now hold the seventh spot with their 13-12 slate. Just a game behind is UCAM Murcia which hangs on to the eighth spot by a thread with 12-13 record. The loss of Bilbao Basket was huge. Despite being one of three teams tied with 12-13 records, they are at the bottom of that totem pole and are now in 10th place. In the middle of this mad scramble is Iberostar Tenerife (12-13) which needs to rack up more wins if they are to crack the Top 8 of the Spanish Liga Endesa standings. They were able to edge out Estudiantes Madrid 80-84.
The last and most recent game of the round was between FIATC Joventut and ICL Manresa. Manresa upset FIATC Joventut 63-76 and almost certainly snuffed their chances to make the Top 8. The Youth club is now at a distant 10-15 and at 12th position in the standings.
With the three-team log jam clogging the gateway to the Top 8, it looks like competition for those last spots into the post-season will be fast and furious. Spanish hoops fans are going to be treated to some spirited play over the next several weeks.