To be extremely precise, there is no Spanish basketball championship: the championship of the AKB League is held annually, which includes 18 Spanish teams, one club represents Andorra. The tournament has been held in this format since 1956. First, the teams fight in two rounds in the regular season, determining the top eight, which continue their rivalry at the playoff stage. In the quarter-finals, the opponents play up to two victories, in the semi-finals and finals up to three.
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Contenders for the title: who except the giants
The Basketball League of the AKB is somewhat similar to the football Primera. Here, too, there are two giants. And this is also Real Madrid and Barcelona. The struggle of irreconcilable rivals continues on the basketball court. Both teams have won the championship many times, both have won various European trophies. We will talk about the status of the favorites and three other real contenders for reaching the quarterfinals and the champion title in our review.
- Basque Country
Real Madrid: hard start
The most titled club in Europe this season started not very well. In the last ten matches, “creamy” suffered five defeats. It is unlikely that such a schedule can be called a champion. Now the team is in fourth place in the standings, having lost in the last match to an outright outsider. Analysts note Real Madrid’s not quite confident defensive play and the coach’s frequent mistakes in determining the squad. However, we must not forget that the “royal club” is the reigning champion of Spain. The team finished last year’s regular season in second place, but managed to make it to the final, where they defeated Barcelona.
Barcelona: everything is ahead
Barcelona head coach Sharunas Jasikevicius believes that the team is not fully realizing its potential and has every chance to develop further. Last season, the Catalans reached the final, where they lost the title to Real Madrid in four matches (1:3). Recall that in the 2020/21 season, the Pomegranates, in turn, beat Real Madrid in the final and became champions of the AKB.
Barcelona have had a good start to the current season with six wins in seven games. Experts note the excellent game of Oscar da Silva and Rokas Jokubaitis. With such a game, the Pomegranates are one of the most realistic contenders for the title.
Crazy Basque Country
Four victories (including against Real Madrid) in the last four matches with excellent play ensured the Basques a place in the top five and gave pundits a reason to call the team’s game crazy. Sasky Baskonia is a multiple champion of Spain. The last title the team won in the 2019/20 season. We note quite a confident game of Baskonia in the Euroleague – the team is in the top five. Head coach Joan Peñarroya is convinced that his team can return the championship title.
Tenerife: a long way to the championship
During its long history (the club was founded in 1939), Tenerife has never become the champion of Spain. At the same time, the team regularly plays in the playoffs and, as a rule, stops at the quarterfinal stage. Today, Tenerife is at the top of the standings and has every chance for the playoffs. The main thing is not to lose strength on the way to decisive matches.
Valencia: time to win
We need time to become a champion, says Valencia star Lopez-Arestegui. So far, the team is not demonstrating a championship game and is outside the top eight. However, Valencia coach Alex Mumbru believes that his wards have already overcome the crisis period. The coach is most upset by the injuries of Sam van Rossom and Jaciel Rivero. With their restoration, the Valencians can seriously claim the championship title.