Spanish League, Game 1: September 30 - October 1, 2006

PRIGIONI The Spanish League started this weekend and Real Madrid showed its credentials to win the title by thrashing Unicaja 85-56 at home on Saturday. Louis Bullock led 5 Madrid players in double figures with 14 points and his team became the first leader of the competition. DKV Joventut had less troubles than expected to down ViveMenorca 89-72 in Badalona behind 16 points and 13 rebounds from Charles Gaines. Meanwhile, Tau Ceramica edged Pamesa Valencia 94-95 on the road on Sunday morning. Tiago Splitter led the winners with 17 points, but Pablo Prigioni became the man of the game by hitting 3 bombs from downtown in the final 3 minutes, in which Tau managed to escape with a win due to a free throw from Igor Rakocevic. Gran Canaria Grupo Dumas beat Polaris World Murcia 75-67 behind 16 points from Jim Moran while Etosa Alicante beat Winterthur FC Barcelona 58-51. In other games, Akasvayu Girona edged Grupo Capitol Valladolid 74-75 on the road, Alta Gestion Fuenlabrada needed overtime to beat CB Granada 95-90, MMT Estudiantes topped Caja San Fernando 86-88 in Seville while Lagun Aro Bilbao Basket defeated Bruesa CBG 54-59.

Real Madrid sent a message which echoed all around the country by thrashing Unicaja 85-56 at home on Saturday. Bullock led the winners with 14 points, Ratko Varda added 12, Charles Smith and Felipe Reyes each had 11 while Alex Mumbru scored 10 points for Madrid. Kostas Vasileiadis had 16 for Unicaja, which dominated the game in the early going, but Kerem Tunceri, an outstanding Bullock and a three-point play by Varda allowed Real Madrid to get a 21-14 lead after 10 minutes. Unicaja improved its defense, making Real Madrid go scoreless for almost 4 minutes, but only managed to get within 21-19. Mumbru came to the rescue with 4 quick points and Venson Hamilton dunked it twice in a 12-0 run which Reyes capped with free throws, good for a 37-22 Madrid margin. Even when Vasileiadis had nine points in this period, Unicaja trailed 41-25 at halftime. Madrid stayed focused after the break, as Bullock beat the shot clock with a triple which made it a 19-point game, 50-31. Unicaja trailed 66-41 after 30 minutes and never recovered, as Madrid sealed a big win against the defending Spanish League champion. Etosa Alicante provided the biggest surprise in Game 1 by downing Winterthur FCB 58-51 at home. Larry Lewis had 19 points for the winners while Juan Carlos Navarro led Barcelona with 14 points. A 8-0 run allowed Etosa to get a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and soon boosted its margin to 25-13 late in the second period. Navarro and Roko-Leni Ukic brought Barcelona within 31-30 and then again within 44-43 with 6 minutes to go. Chuck Kornegay and Lewis stepped up to lead Etosa to a big home win.

Tau Ceramica survived a tough battle to edge Pamesa Valencia 94-95 on the road on Sunday morning. Tiago Splitter led the winners with 17 points. Igor Rakocevic added 15, Pablo Prigioni 14, Serkan Erdogan 13, Zoran Planinic 12 and Fred House 10. Dejan Milojevic had 27 points for Pamesa, which led 85-83 with 3 minutes to go. Prigioni hit a three-pointer, and another, and yet another one, which Rakocevic hit a free throw for a 94-95 edge. Albert Oliver missed the game-winning shot for Pamesa. DKV Joventut had less troubles to beat ViveMenorca 89-72 in Badalona. Charles Gaines led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Elmer Bennett and Andrew Betts each added 12 points while Lubos Barton and Rudy Fernandez had 11 apiece for the winners. Joventut led 25-8 early in the second quarter and never trailed since that moment. Menorca got within 46-44 midway through the third quarter, but Fernandez and Gaines fueled a 16-4 run which sealed the outcome. Gran Canaria Grupo Dumas started the Spanish League season on a high note with a 75-67 home win against Polaris World Murcia. Jim Moran led the winners with 16 points, Tre Simmons and Marcus Norris each had 11 while Sitapha Savane and Roberto Guerra added 10 apiece for Gran Canaria, which trailed 60-61 with under 3 minutes to go. Norris hit a critical triple and then made 4 of 4 free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the win.

LAST GAME GAME 1 - Sep. 30 - Oct. 1
1 Oct.Etosa Alicante vs. Winterthur Barcelona58 -51
30 Sep.Gran Canaria vs. Polaris World Murcia75 -67
30 Sep.Fuenlabrada vs. C.B. Granada95 -90
1 Oct.DKV Joventut vs. ViveMenorca89 -72
1 Oct.Real Madrid vs. Unicaja85 -56
30 Sep.Pamesa Valencia vs. TAU Cerámica94 -95
1 Oct.Bruesa GBC vs. Lagun Aro Bilbao54 -59
30 Sep.Caja San Fernando vs. MMT Estudiantes86 -88
30 Sep.G. Capitol Valladolid vs. Akasvayu Girona74 -75
NEXT GAME GAME 2 - Oct. 7/8
8 Oct.Winterthur Barcelona vs. Gran Canaria
7 Oct.MMT Estudiantes vs. G. Capitol Valladolid
7 Oct.C.B. Granada vs. Real Madrid
7 Oct.Vive Menorca vs. Caja San Fernando
7 Oct.Polaris World Murcia vs. Pamesa Valencia
8 Oct.Lagun Aro Bilbao vs. Etosa Alicante
7 Oct.Unicaja vs. Bruesa GBC
7 Oct.TAU Cerámica vs. Alta G. Fuenlabrada
8 Oct.Akasvayu Girona vs. DKV Joventut

1Real Madrid1108556
2DKV Joventut1108972
3Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas1107567
4Etosa Alicante1105851
5Alta Gestión Fuenlabrada1109590
6Lagun Aro Bilbao Basket1105954
7MMT Estudiantes1108886
8TAU Cerámica1109594
9Akasvayu Girona1107574
10Pamesa Valencia1019495
11Grupo Capitol Valladolid1017475
12Caja San Fernando1018688
13C.B. Granada1019095
14Bruesa GBC1015459
15Winterthur F.C. Barcelona1015158
16Polaris World CB Murcia1016775

Sunday, October 1, 2006