The last game from Round 16 of Liga Endesa is also the derby of the week in Spain, where Real Madrid hosts Valencia in a Euroleague-level match. Real Madrid is currently on the second spot with a 12-3 record, while Valencia is on 8th place with 8-7. Let’s see how they played in the last Euroleague round.
After that disappointing loss in El Clasico, when they were smashed by Barcelona 83-63, Real Madrid took a short trip to Lyon to play against ASVEL. The French team played very well at home this season and many teams left French with a loss, but that was not the case for Real Madrid. Despite they travelled without many important players (Sergio Llull, Anthony Randolph, Jaycee Carroll, Gabriel Deck or Felipe Reyes), they took the win after a very good game on both ends of the floor. On offense, they scored 52% of their shots, while in defense they hold ASVEL to only 36% of their shots including a 16-47 inside the arc. The main contributors for Real were: Trey Thompkins (20 points and 7 rebounds), Rudy Fernandez (18 points and 3 rebounds) and Jordan Mickey (18 points and 7 rebounds).
Valencia received the visit of ALBA Berlin in a match that was a must-win for the Spanish side. They had to take that game and remain close to a play-offs spot. The game started with a 27-18 ALBA win in the first quarter, but then Valencia took the control of the game and won every of the remaining quarter. In the end, Valencia was the winners of the game 91-77. What made the difference was the way Valencia defended. They had few personal fouls, 13, which means that ALBA had only 2 free-throws the entire game, while the home team had 18 from which they completed 17. The main contributors for Valencia were: Jordan Lloyd (19 points and 3 assists), Alberto Abalde (16 points and 5 rebounds), Aaron Doornekamp (15 points) and Bojan Dubljevic (10 points and 10 rebounds).
Real Madrid has the first chance to win this game because they have a better roster and play in front of their own fans while revenging the loss against Barcelona is still in their minds. Deck and Carroll are game-time decision, while Llull, Randolph and Reyes are out for this game. Valencia can take advantage of those absentees and with a perfect game of both ends of the floor, Real will have a very tough match.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc