The top two teams of the Spanish Liga Endesa collided on Sunday in what proved to be an epic game. Valencia Basket proved to be resilient as it edged FC Barcelona, 91-94 in overtime to extend its undefeated run in the Spanish league to 17-0. Barcelona has now suffered its second loss of the season and are now 15-2. Interestingly enough, their first loss was also settled in overtime. They lost to Laboral Kutxa Vitoria back in November 22.
This was a crucial game as Barca was expected to pose a serious threat to Valencia Basket’s reign over the Spanish league. They were able to push the league leaders to their limits in this encounter, but Valencia dug deep and finished strong in the extra period to seize the tough road victory.
The game was close at the beginning with each club feeling the other one out in the opening frame. Barca managed to put together a solid run in the second quarter and raced to a 43-35 advantage at the end of the first half. Unfazed, the men in orange would storm back into the mix in the third frame as their shots from long range found their mark. With one quarter in regulation remaining, Valencia wrenched control of the game from Barca and established a one-point lead. Both teams headed to the fourth and final frame, guns blazing. Barcelona tied up the game at 82-82 at the end of regulation. Valencia’s defense in the extra period was solid enough for them to force key turnovers, which happened to be just enough to carve out their advantage when the final whistle was blown.
Valencia displayed some excellent team play. Six of their players were heavily involved in the offense, scoring in double figures. Bojan Dubljevic led all orange shirts with 16 points. Justin Hamilton chipped in 15 points, while Fernando San Emeterio added 14 of his own.
The duo of Justin Doellman and Tomas Satoransky tied for a game-high 17 points for Barcelona. Satoransky finished with double-double as he added 12 assists to his name. Unfortunately, their valiant effort could not lift their club in the extra quarter.
Valencia has proven itself to be the ever-formidable opponent in the Spanish league this 2015-16 and they survived a tough acid test in the form of FC Barcelona in their own homecourt. What’s next? We don’t know for sure. Either way, it will be exciting to follow Spanish hoops as it heads towards the Playoffs this season.