The group B of the Spanish league Final Phase is very complicated with 5 teams waiting for the 2 qualifying spots before the last round. The most important game, the key for the entire group ranking is the derby between Valencia Basket and Gran Canaria. Both teams will qualify with a win, no matter what happens in the other games of the group. If Valencia loses then Real Madrid will qualify, if Gran Canaria loses, the winner between Burgos and Andorra will advance to the next stage.
I think Valencia Basket is the favourite to win this tough battle because:
- they showed their strength this season in ACB and Euroleague, beating important teams like Fenerbahce in Istanbul for example. They are not a squad to put down so easy. In Copa del Rey, Valencia Basket smashed FC Barcelona and during the entire year, they proved abilities to win against any team.
- Valencia’s core of players includes many names from the 2017’s roster when they won the Spanish League as Bojan Dubljevic, Fernando San Emeterio, Sam Van Rossom and Joan Sastre Morro. The solid game based on good chemistry is their most important asset.
- Another advantage – perhaps, considered not so important now because they are playing without supporters – is the home-court. Even in the absence of the fans, I think it is better to play in the arena where you have trained for years, where everything seems so familiar to you, where you have sweet memories than to play far away.
- Gran Canaria is a difficult team which started very well the group but in the last encounters showed some incredible weak sides and fatigue. Their game against the youngsters from Zaragoza was embarrassing, but maybe they saved some energy for the last battle, which could be very balanced.
The referees will count a lot in this game, especially now when Real Madrid chances to qualify are directly related to Valencia’s potential loss.