It was an interesting Sunday night at the Spanish Liga ACB. With a full slate of games, there was no lack of entertaining basketball action in Round 15. Hands down, the biggest surprise of the round came in a derby game in Madrid, where the Movistar Estudiantes stunned a heavily favored Real Madrid squad, 93-88.
Despite the loss, Real Madrid remains in second place in the standings but they now have the same record as a surging Baskonia Vitoria at 11-4. Both clubs trail league-leading FC Barcelona Lassa by one game (12-3).
The shocking win boosts Estudiantes’ position in the standings, taking them to 14th place with a 5-10 record which they share Fuenlabrada, UCAM Murcia, and Herbalife Gran Canaria.
Real Madrid had the distinct advantage in 3-pointers made, 13-9. They also got solid performances from veterans Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernandez, who scored 18 and 16 points, respectively. However, their strong play would be barely enough to offset the explosion that was brought by Estudiantes’ Alessandro Gentile who dropped a game-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting. Dario Brizuela and Shayne Whittington chimed in with 16 points each to add to the Estudiantes’ laudable overall team effort.
This upset must have been a stirring wake-up call for Real Madrid. No team in the Spanish Liga ACB can and should rest on their laurels. Defense cannot be sacrificed in favor of offense in all cases. Case in point, Gentile was on a rampage and was not slowed down with enough double teams in this encounter. Still the season is still young and there are many games yet to be played. Who knows, even Estudiantes can mount a win streak that could surprise us all, right?
Here are the complete results from Sunday’s games:
- Unicaja Malaga 61-78 Iberostar Tenerife
- Tecnyconta Zaragoza 88-68 UCAM Murcia
- Burgos 80-85 FC Barcelona Lassa
- Obradoiro 69-68 Morabanc Andorra
- Manresa 66-82 Baskonia Vitoria
- Joventut Badalona 83-74 Valencia Basket
- Herbalife Gran Canaria 91-75 Fuenlabrada
- Movistar Estudiantes 93-88 Real Madrid
- Breogan 83-71 Gipuzkoa