The ACB league is entering its final stage, with only one game remaining. It is already certain that Real Madrid will take the leading position into the playoffs so the final matches will be deciding in only small number of games. One of those games is most certainly Zaragoza vs. Gipuzkoa Basket. Zaragoza currently lies in the ninth place and is seeking a place in the playoff, should Herbalife Gran Canaria lose their game. Gipuzkoa on the other hand, has their own fears, as they are very close to relegation and must not allow themselves to lose this game.
Zaragoza is a relatively young Spanish team, having been founded in 2002. In the first few seasons, club was mostly in the lower divisions, before the breakthrough was made back in 2007 and the team got their first promotion. After a few relegation threats, Zaragoza established themselves in the top division of Spanish basketball. Zaragoza’s biggest result is the 2012/2013 semi final appearance in the playoffs, where it lost to Real Madrid.
Gipuzkoa Basket is a regular member of the ACB league, after receiving promotion back in 2008. Gipuzkoa was never much of a playoff team, reaching the top eight on only one occasion. Last season Gipuzkoa finished tenth of the table, but in this season the main goal seems to be to remain in the league.
Zaragoza is just one position behind top eight and a win against Gipuzkoa might give them an additional push towards the playoff. Zaragoza’s form this season was very mixed, with them earning seventeen victories compared to sixteen loses. In the last five matches, only two wins does not seem like a promise but their last meeting against Gipuzkoa was very successful, as they won the game 76-61.
Gipuzkoa Basket might be in good position ahead of their match against Zaragoza, but any serious defeat against them might cause a huge problem for them. Terrible form caused them to be in this position, after they managed to record only two wins in the last ten matches. Basquet-Manresa might be behind them, but equal number of wins/loses gives them hope of remaining in the league. Gipuzkoa also has advantage in the fact that, they must lose with big margin while Manresa must defeat top team Real Madrid.
Zaragoza is the heavy favorite in this match, considering their form and the motivation for the win. Although Gipuzkoa is in a worse situation than Zaragoza, their relegation-rival has very slim chances of catching them in the purse for first-league status next year.
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