Real Esteli vs Frente Rivas | Nicaragua LSB – Oct. 23, 2021
One of the wealthiest and well-known basketball teams in Central and Latin America, Real Esteli, has had an extremely turbulent season so far. Along with bad luck with injuries, they were involved in a massive scandal at the start of the season. Despite all of this, they managed to stay close to the top of the table as they now look for a strong finish before the playoffs with their newest signings from Puerto Rico.
Their biggest stars and import players Glen Rice Jr. and Josimar Ayarza, had some disagreements, which escalated after a derby game against Cacique just a couple of weeks after the start of the season. Some other players got involved in what became a massive brawl which had severe consequences. Both Rice and Ayarza got suspended and rescinded their contracts while some domestic players had to pay fines.
Since Real Esteli´s budget is at the level of top Latin teams, it wasn´t a problem for them to find replacements. They brought in a Dominican import Jaison Valdez who was dominating for them. Unfortunately, he got injured a couple of games ago, so Esteli was forced to find new imports once again. Around ten days ago, they brought in a star duo from Puerto Rico as Melsahn Basabe, and Christian Pizarro joined the team after finishing the season with Indios de Mayaguez in Puerto Rican BSN.
They already played in two games, but Esteli lost both of them. Before the break, they were defeated by Leones(81:90) and a couple of days ago by the league leaders Brumas(84:86). However, Esteli had a 10 point lead at the start of the 4th quarter in that game as their new reinforcements started clicking with their regulars. They lost in a dramatic ending but proved they could compete for the title with their new signings.
It´s been a very unstable season for Esteli. Many unexpected roster changes and injuries have caused their results to dip, but they still sit at 4th place and inside the playoff zone. This Saturday, they will face one of their direct playoff opponents 5th-placed Rivas.
Guests have a solid starting five, but they don´t get many points from their bench. Esteli has more quality at the moment than their 4th place suggests. Their position in the table results from playing many games understaffed, so with a new and bolstered roster, we expect them to win this game at home.
Pick: Real Esteli -6.5
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