Herbalife and Valencia into semi-finals of Copa del Rey Basketball competition

2013-02-08 23:15:15 GMT2013-02-09 07:15:15(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MADRID, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Herbalife Gran Canaria sprang the surprise of the day when they qualified for the semi-final of Spanish basketball's Copa del Rey with a 74-62 win over Bilbao Basket on Friday.

Although Herbalife are third in the Adecco ACB league table, Bilbao were pre-match favorites given that they have been in excellent form of late and counted on the support of thousands of fans who had made the short trip down from Bilbao to host city Vitoria.

However, Herbalife were on top from the start scoring more than their rivals in all four quarters, led by Spencer Nelson and Xavi Rey, who were both almost unbeatable under the hoop with Rey netting 22 points.

Herbalife will take on Valencia in Saturday's semi-final after Valencia started the evening with a convincing 77-59 win over Asefa Estudiantes, who some had thought may be outsiders for the competition, given that Valencia had not won their last four league matches.

However, Estudiantes missed the contribution of star player, Carl English and only Jayson Granger with 16 points got out of double figures in the points tally.

That allowed Valencia, who were rock solid in defense, to open up a 40-28 lead by the end of the second quarter and that, plus the 23 points scored by Vitor Faverani was the springboard to book their quarter final place.

Saturday's first semi-final will see Regal Barcelona play hosts Caja Laboral, with the winner of that game the favorite to lift the title.

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