Real Madrid maintains its stranglehold over the domestic Spanish Liga Endesa with a convincing 85-71 win over Valencia Basket in Round 18 of regular season action. Valencia was not just any other opponent, but a Top 4 club in the league. Real Madrid is now 14-3, but are followed closely by Iberostar Tenerife (13-4), which trails by just one game. Valencia takes the tough loss against a tough competitor and are ready to regroup. They maintain their position as the number four team in the league (12-5), but the loss marked the end of the seven-game winning streak they had going.
Real Madrid got a huge game from their All-Star point guard, Sergio Llull, who set a new assist record with 13 dimes. He also scored 16 points for the night. When he gets going, Real Madrid is a formidable juggernaut that any team in Europe would find difficult to stop, let alone stymie.
To their credit, Valencia controlled the first half of this tough game. They were ahead by seven points as both clubs plodded their way to the locker room for the halftime break. From the third quarter onward, Real Madrid turned their offense up and hit it in high gear. Their elite passing game proved to be a valid go-to move as they wrenched back control of the game. From there, their transition game took over and Real Madrid rode it for the win.
Aside from Sergio Llull’s impressive 16-13 double-double, four other Real Madrid players scored in double figures. Guillem Vives knocked down three triples en route to his team-high 10 points for Valencia Basket. Bojan Dubljevic did an laudable job on the glass with 10 boards.
Valencia gets a fresh start in their next match-up as they take on middle-of-the pack team, Gran Canaria on the 28th.