Understanding the surprising results of Liga ACB

After yesterday’s round, the group B of the Spanish Final Phase seems even more complicated. Unexpected results, including here the blow suffered by Real Madrid in front of MoraBanc Andorra and the incredible win of Casademont Zaragoza over Gran Canaria. I don’t even know which of these two results is more surprising. And what could be the explanation of it? Maybe the fatigue of some old players or maybe, underestimating the opponents.

The truth is Liga ACB has the most tied level in from all the European leagues. In other countries, you have maybe 2-3 teams that cand be a title contender, but in Spain, there are a dozen teams that can make the surprise of an unexpected win. The Spanish squads have 10-12 skilled players, unlike in other leagues, where the core of many teams is reduced to 7-8 players and then the other 4 guys that are completing the roster but hardly to be introduced on the court.

That’s why MoraBanc Andorra could smash Real Madrid yesterday with a huge margin 91-75, while the big favourite Gran Canaria was swept by Zaragoza.

Another factor, as I said above could be the fatigue accumulated by some players that have an age: like Felipe Reyes (40 years old), Jaycee Caroll (37) – from Real Madrid or Ioannis Bourousis (36) and Omar Cook (38). In normal conditions, they had 2 games per week, now due to the special situation, they are forced to play the 4th game in 8 days and not all the players can adapt to it.

And I think that the underestimation of the opponents also contributed a lot to this unexpected losses. Especially when the big teams have to save their energy for the next games and are facing “weaker” opponents. Zaragoza has in the roster 7 very young players and they were also without their center Nemanja Radovic. They have lost all their previous 3 games of the group so Gran Canaria saw them as an “easy catch”. The same happened with Real Madrid: they saw Andorra as a weak team, easily beaten in the first 2 encounters by Valencia Basket and Gran Canaria with a huge margin. In addition, Andorra is playing at this final Tournament without their main biggest duo Dejan Musli and Moussa Diagne.

Now anything can happen in the last round, with 5 teams fighting for the 2 spots of the semifinals.

Image: Basketball Champions League

Angel Jimenez