Valencia Basket: Markovic (6), Dean, Claver (6), Faverani (19), Caner Medley (7) –startig five-, Ogilvy (1), Newley (13), Martínez, Pietrus, De Colo (5) and San Miguel.
Referees: De la Maza, Conde and Peruga.
Good news at the Palau Blaugrana. Barça Regal decisively beat Valencia Basket in the first match of the semi-final series of the Liga Endesa. The Catalans offered up a spectacular performance, even Navarro made an appearance. Valencia only put up a fight for two minutes, as the home side brilliantly showcased their potential all over the court. The next game will be at the Palau on Sunday.
38 minutes of complete dominance
Valencia started off strong with a 0-6 run at the start of the game. Barça Regal’s response was immediate and ruthless as they stormed back to take the lead (9-6, min4). Pascual’s men managed to find good opportunities to take shots and, and with Ndong on the bench because of two quick fouls, Lorbek quickly took responsibility for the team by scoring nine points in six minutes (14-8). On top of the Slovenian’s accuracy, the Azulgranas employed a fluid game on offence and aggressive grit on defence (19-10, min 8).
At the end of the first quarter Barça had a commanding 23-10 lead. The last eight minutes were simply excellent for Barça. Mickeal scored eight points.
Exhibition and Navarro reappears
The team had De Colo under control, the best Valencia player, and on offence, led by Sada, Barça were just as fluid in the second quarter as they were in the first. The Valencia manager, Perasovic, could do nothing to stop the Barça onslaught (29-15, min 12). Faverani was the only Valencia player that showed signs of life. However, it was time for Navarro to make his reappearance, which coincided with Barça’s largest lead of the half (+19, 45-26, min 18). The ball was being passed perfectly and the crowd was loving it. The Barça players were not missing their shots and the match looked to be over at the half (49-32).
Same storyin the second half
Logically, Barça took their foot off the pedal in the second half. However, the team’s play was equally as lethal and the difference between the two sides was the same (63-44, min 28). Valencia, despite a timid attempt to react, were still imprecise and were unable to score. In the last minutes of the third quarter, four consecutive fouls on Wallace to the the balance to +24 (68-44).
Barça’s superiority was overwhelming. The supporters were enjoying themselves and they cheered on as their players dominated the match, leading to standing ovations each time Barça managed to dunk (77-48, min 34). The difference between the two sides was 30 points and both the managers started thinking about the next match on Sunday. With the game out of reach, Valencia were able to mount a small comeback by it didn’t do away with overall feeling of Barça’s dominance. It was clear, Barça Regal had stated their intentions loud and clear in the first match of the semi-finals.