The most balanced playoff of Liga Endesa in years

The strongest European basketball championship, the Endesa League has established its quarter-finals and some exhilarating matches have been announced. All the quarter-finals will be played in a best-of-three system, with the decisive match on the field of the better-ranked team in the regular season.

Barcelona (1) – Valencia Basket (8)

Barcelona comes after the disappointment in the Euroleague where they finished fourth in the Final 4 and will try to save as much as possible from this season by winning the championship. Valencia had a complicated season, finishing 13th in the Euroleague and 8th in the domestic league. In the 4 meetings this season, Barcelona won 3 but demonstrated that it knows how to manage competition in the long term, but in the elimination matches it has problems, giving fans unpleasant surprises both in the National Cup and in the Euroleague.

Cazoo Baskonia (2) – Joventut Badalona (7)

Baskonia had a pretty good season, finishing 9th in the Euroleague one win behind the playoff spot and 2nd in the Endesa League, keeping pace with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Joventut lost the semi-final of the Eurocup with Gran Canaria, having many problems in away matches, 6-11 in this championship season. Baskonia won both championship matches, Joventut won the Spanish Cup match played in Badalona. Due to the experience gained in the Euroleague and the home-field advantage, Baskonia leaves with the first chance in this series.

Real Madrid (3) – Gran Canaria (6)

This duel is a kind of European Supercup, the winner of the Euroleague vs the winner of the Eurocup. Real Madrid has surprisingly managed to win the Euroleague and is announced as the main favorite to win the domestic title. Gran Canaria seems to have achieved its goal this season, after winning the Eurocup losing 3 of the next 4 matches. This season, Real Madrid won both direct matches with a difference of at least 20 points, I think that there will be no problems for the Madrid players in this series as well and they will move on quite easily.

Lenovo Tenerife (4) – Unicaja Malaga (5)

These two teams are destined to play together everywhere and all the matches were extremely balanced between them. In the Endesa League, both teams finished with 24-10 (14-3 at home and 10-7 away), both winning the home match. In the final of the National Cup, Unicaja prevailed 83-80, in the match for 3rd place in the Basketball Champions League in Malaga, Tenerife made a small surprise and won 84-79. In this series, any result is possible, the teams know each other very well and the small details will make the difference.

Valentin Petruta

Photo: ACB