MADRID, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Regal Barcelona and Estudiantes assured the last two qualification places for the Copa del Rey knockout competition as the Spanish ACB Endesa basketball league reached the midway point of the season.
The top sides in Spain at the halfway point of the season qualify for the cup, which is played over a long weekend in February.
In Sunday's match, Estudiantes produced a magnificent display to beat a Barcelona side without the injured Juan Carlos Navarro, 88-66, but points average meant that would not have been enough to take them to the cup had Blusens won away to FIATC Joventut.
However, Joventut, who had no chance of getting to the cup produced a solid display to win 89-87 and destroy the dreams of the team from Galicia of a first ever cup appearance.
Meanwhile Unicaja's cup hopes disappeared with a disappointing defeat 81-70 at home to an improving Cajasol Sevilla, which means that Barca also make it to the cup despite their defeat, although they will have to play one of the sides in the top four.
Real Madrid remain leaders and have lost only once in the first half of the campaign. This Sunday saw Pablo Laso's side brush past Herbalife Gran Canaria by a crushing 90-54 scoreline with Sergio Rodriguez in fine form, scoring 20 points and collecting six defensive rebounds
Meanwhile Caja Laboral have now won their last 14 games in all competitions, keeping the run going with a 101-95 win away to Manresa, who slip to the bottom of the table.
Valencia suffered the shock of the weekend as they were well beaten away 76-68 to Lagun Aro, who had begun the weekend bottom of the table and with only two wins all season, while Bilbao Basket returned to winning ways with a solid 78-70 victory over Canarias CB, who have been improving in recent weeks.
Murcia's win away to Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada lifts them into mid-table, while Fuenlabrada have once again slipped worryingly close to the drop zone and have just 4 victories in the first half of the campaign.
Meanwhile Blancos Rueda Valladolid rediscovered their winning form thanks to a 93-87 win over high-flying CAI Zaragoza on the day Pat Ewing jr made a discreet debut for his new side.