Just a few rounds past the halfway mark in 2015-16 season of the Spanish Liga Endesa, league leader Valencia Basket suffered its first loss of the season. For the first 18 rounds of the season, Valencia looked unstoppable and were easily dominating their competition, but in a highly competitive league such as the Spanish Liga Endesa it was just a matter of time till a team would find their Achilles and take advantage. This time it would third-placer Laboral Kutxa Vitoria that would solve the conundrum that was Valencia basket. They hosted the top team and their home court proved to be a suitable location to hand the orange shirts their first loss, 79-73. A win by FC Barcelona this round puts them at 17-2 and trail Valencia by just one full game.
As expected this clash between to Top 4 teams would be one for the books. Solid three-point shooting by the home team could be credited for their success in this game. Laboral Kutxa sank 10 treys in the game compared to Valencia’s five. Their shots were not always hitting their mark and yet they stuck to their guns and it paid off when it counted the most. Darius Adams accounted for half of Laboral Kutxa’s bombs from long range. He finished with a team-high 21 points. Ioannis Boursis also put in a solid game for Baskonia, recording a double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and two triples of his own.
The first half of the game remained close with Valencia managing just a one-point lead at halftime 34-35. Laboral Kutxa had a huge third quarter run (23-11) and they were able to clamp down on defense in the final period and held on to keep Valencia at bay for the huge win.
Valencia was led by Justin Hamilton who put up a game-high 27 points as well as seven rebounds.
In other news, the rest of the Top 5 teams were able to secure victories on January 7th. FC Barcelona defeated Andorra at home, 84-79. Real Madrid which shares an identical 15-4 record with Laboral Kutxa beat Estudiantes Madrid in an easy 97-79 victory. Gran Canaria managed to score a win on the road when they downed Manresa 70-78.