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Real’s win in basketball derby expands lead in league

28 January 2008

MADRID – Although 17 places in the ACB League rankings separate them, second-to-last-placed MMT Estudiantes put up a formidable fight in Sunday’s derby against leader Real Madrid. But despite spectacular efforts by Estudiantes’ Larry Lewis and Pancho Jasen, first-placed Real Madrid held out to overcome its rival 84-80 at its Palacio de Vistalegre.

While Real took control of the pace of the game from the opening tip-off, Estudiantes, despite trailing 53-37 at half-time, was able to claw back into the game in the fourth quarter, where it outscored its opponent 21-12.

In the game’s final 10 minutes, Madrid’s second side capitalised on a series of impeccable shots by the Italian-Argentine Jasen, and turned out a 1-7 run, which brought it back to within five points of its rival with five minutes to play.

Perhaps the most destructive force for Estudiantes was the American Larry Lewis, keeping the side afloat with the game high of 25 points.

However, despite its best efforts, this fourth-quarter push was not enough to overcome Real’s Charles Smith’s (16 points) clutch four for seven three-point shooting, which helped along Real’s undefeated home-court record.

The ACB League leader has dropped only three games all season, winning 16. In turn, the capital’s second side is facing relegation, with only five wins and 14 losses. The whites have now expanded their lead in the league to two games, helped by second-place Iurbentia Bilbao’s (14-5) loss to C. B. Granada 81-97.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news