Barça Regal claimed the Catalan League after beating a FIATC Joventut in a hard-fought and exciting final
Marcelinho Huertas led the Azulgranas on the court and Lorbek was the team's highest scorer with 15 points
FIATC JOVENTUT, 69
FCB REGAL, 76
Fiatc Joventut (17+12+20+20): Oliver (8), Quezada (19), Barrera (9), Gaffney (14), Savane (6) -starting five-, Kuzmic (3), Ventura (-), Vives (5), Ehambe (5) and Trias (-).
FC Barcelona Regal (18+21+16+21): Sada (4), Jasikevicius (4), Mickeal (13), Wallace (-), Tomic (9) -starting five-, Huertas (12), Jawai (4), Lorbek (15), Ingles (9), Abrines (-), Todorovic (2) and Rabaseda (4).
Referees: Amorós, Guirao and Cardús.
FC Barcelona won the Catalan League for the fourth consecutive year. The Azulgranas beat a FIATC Joventut side that played an excellent match and clearly didn't shy away from the chance to win silverware this early in the season. The Azulgranas, however, kicked it into gear in the second half and Xavi Pascual took advantage of his deep bench in order to claim the title.
Pascual sent out the same starting team that featured in the semi-finals: Sada, Jasikevicius, Mickeal, Wallace and Tomic. The Azulgranas got off to a slow start, just as they did against Força Lleida. Joventut led by 13 to 8 after 7 minutes, after the home team went on a 9-0 run. Joventut’s play style was centered on establishing a frenetic, electric pace on the match - it was an excellent plan, seeing that the Azulgrana's were struggling to keep up.
Barça takes control
The Lorbek-Jawai duo rectified Barça’s struggles, as they dominated in the paint. The Azulgranas started to took control of the rebounds and they quickly went on a 0-8 run. The Slovenian - highest scorer for Barça - scored six consecutive points. The Azulgranas had taken control of the match by breaking the rhythm and pace off the green-and-blacks (22-29, min 13).
Barça Regal shows its quality
Despite the slow start, Barça Regal offered up a commendable performance. Led by Marcelinho, Barça took a 10-point lead (27-37, min 18). Tomic, ex-Joventut player, came in a sunk a basket right before the break to make it 29-39.
Joventut attempt to fight back
As expected, Joventut came out in the second half eager to cut into Barça’s lead. The Azulgranas, however, stopped the home team in its tracks (36-47). A flagrant foul allowed Joventut to go on a 6-0 run. The home team had come within five of the Azulgranas (46-51, min 29).
It was all up for grabs as the teams started the fourth quarter (49-55). A technical foul by Jasikevicius brought Joventut even closer. In addition, Barça was loaded down with fouls, they had to be careful - any foul meant free throws for the home team. The interruptions to the flow of the game were constant. Quesada brought Joventut within two points with a fantastic three-pointer (57-59, min 33).
Open until the 38th minute
Still dominating in the rebound department, the Barça players maintained their lead thanks to their attacking talent. Jawai was intimidating in the paint, and Mickeal was putting in a fantastic performance. Joventut tried to draw level, but simply couldn’t. A three-pointer from Marcelinho killed the game off with 90 seconds left on the clock (64-76). The buzzer blared and Barça Regal claimed its fourth consecutive Catalan League.