Phew, that was close…

Typically, it’s a bad sign when a sports page follows up a headline story with a photo like this:

(image courtesy

However, good news from Spain is the order of the day today, as ACB officials have announced that at least a temporary agreement is in place to avert a player strike scheduled to begin today which would have halted the Spanish League’s basketball playoffs from continuing further.

Negotiations on Friday between league officials and the players’ union (ABP) lasted 13 hours without a decision, but just before midnight last night, Spain-based media was able to announce the truce thanks in part to intervention by sports minister Miguel Cardenal.

Upon his ascension to the government position in March 2012, Cardenal had singled out Spanish basketball as a “recreational activity without boundaries [to] participation” which “could become a transmitter of values and a worthy factor for social integration.” During yesterday’s late-night press conference, Cardenal thanked both parties and “especially the intervention of José Luis Sáez, President of the Spanish Basketball Federation. Their collaboration came together so that tomorrow we can follow the competition.”

Today’s slate of Liga Endesa playoff games includes FC Barcelona at Bilbao Basket; Valencia BC and CAI Zaragoza (both games scheduled for tipoff at noon CET, 6am EST); Real Madrid at Blusens Monbus (12.40pm CET, 6.40pm EST); and Laboral Baskonia at Gran Canaria (1pm CET, 7am EST).

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