Agonic sprint in the Euroleague

There are four days to go to the end of the season and Real Madrid (17-13), Baskonia (16-14) and Valencia (16-14) are fighting to finish in the top eight.


Real Madrid are in trouble in the Euroleague. His last two defeats, against Barcelona and CSKA Moscow, have not hurt less because they are more predictable. Pablo Laso's men are still down in the standings, where they occupy seventh place with 17 victories, on the verge of eighth that closes access to the quarterfinal playoffs. Behind come three teams with 16 wins: Zenit, Baskonia and Valencia. The two Spaniards met on this 30th day to keep their aspirations alive. The Basques beat Xavi Pascual's Zenit, a direct rival, after an epic reaction with which they traced 14 points in five minutes. The Valencians defeated bottom Khimki, as the forecast dictated, although Madrid succumbed right in that square and some of their current ills come from there. It also drags its full of defeats against the three Spanish teams (0-6). The white dominance in the ACB League, where they have only lost one of the 24 games played, does not have the same reflection in Europe.

Four rounds are missing and, although there are other mathematical variants with others involved, the logic indicates that these four contenders will play the last two passes. Only Madrid and Zenit depend on themselves. Laso's, because they have one more victory than their rivals. "It's in our power," recalled the Vitorian coach after falling to CSKA. Those of Pascual, because they have played one less game. In favor of Baskonia, his streak smiles, seven victories in eight games, which is not bad in Valencia either, five out of seven. Both will face a direct duel in a last day in which sparks can fly. The calculators burn in the four venues before a final sprint that Madrid and Zenit are doing particularly long and agonizing.

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