ManresaThe regular season of the Endesa League has ended and the three Catalan teams already know their rivals for the quarterfinals. Gran Canaria, Lenovo Tenerife and Real Madrid will be the rivals of Barça, Joventut de Badalona and Baxi Manresa in the fight for the title.
Barça will arrive at final four of Belgrade with good feelings after the victory on the court of Baxi Manresa (80-94). The Barça team took advantage of a good second half to add another victory. Nico Laprovittola, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the third quarter, and Rokas Jokubaitis, who added 11 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds, were two of the most outstanding Catalan players.
Sarunas Jasikevicius ruled out Cory Higgins in order to recover Dante Exum, while Pedro Martínez had Sylvain Francisco, Joe Thomasson, Dani Garcia and Guillem Jou out. Barça had a good staging (2-9), but Baxi Manresa used an 11-0 run to turn the score around (13-9). The first half of the home team was superior. Despite not being successful from the three-point line, the Bages team came to have a difference of 10 points during the second quarter (33-23). Some visiting players, such as Àlex Abrines, Nikola Mirotic and Sertaç Sanli, had problems with personal fouls (40-33).
Nico Laprovittola scored 16 points during a third quarter in which Barça took control of the pace of play in the Nou Congost, where the visiting difference grew to 9 points thanks to a 1-13 run (54-63). The good concentration of Rokas Jokubaitis and the aim of Nikola Mirotic sentenced a Baxi Manresa that ran out of energy in the last quarter, in which the difference grew to 23 points (65-88).
Joventut de Badalona closed the regular season with a great victory on the court of Bitci Baskonia (80-88). After the disappointment against Monbus Obradoiro, the Peña regained its most mature version to win in Vitoria and secure its position as series leader. Ante Tomic (24 points) and Pau Ribas (19) led the victory of a green-and-black team that had a very solid performance during the 40 minutes.
Drama for the descent
The other point of interest of the last day was in the downhill positions. MoraBanc Andorra, who lost to Lenovo Tenerife (75-77), and Hereda San Pablo Burgos, who lost to Urbas Fuenlabrada (66-83), were the victims of a fateful situation and the next season they will play in the LEB Or.