The power forward, with 26 points and 4 rebounds, led Barça Regal in the King’s Cup semifinal to a win over Caja Laboral
Xavi Pascual’s team were losing by four points at the start of the first and last quarters
Barça Regal, 66
Caja Laboral, 57
Barça Regal (19+15+14+18): Huertas (2), Eidson (7), Mickeal (5), Lorbek (26), Ndong (8) (starting five), Navarro (3), Vázquez (8), Rabaseda (2), Sada (5), Wallace, Ingles.
Caja Laboral (18+15+19+5): Prigioni, San Emeterio (12), Oleson (2), Lampe (10), Teletovic (15)(starting five), Ribas (2), M. Bjelica (9), N. Bjelica (2), Heurtel (2), Walsh (3).
Referees: Hierrezuelo, Redondo i Conte.
The pianist offered a recital today at the Palau Sant Jordi. Erazem Lorbek guided Barça Regal to the third consecutive King’s Cup final with a spectacular performance. The semifinal against Caja Laboral was an intense match were both teams were virtually on level terms for the first three quarters, in the last quarter Barça’s defence proved to be decisive as the team only allowed the Basques to score five points. To the final!
In the blink of an eye, with a magisterial Marciej Lampe, Caja Laboral grabbed the early lead a the Palau Sant Jordi: 4-12. Barça Regal fired back and went on a 7-0 run. The Barça reaction was swift and decisive. Neither team was giving anything away on defense. San Emeterio led the Basques, and Lorbek did the same with the Catalans. Barça Regal managed to finish the first quarter ahead of their rivals thanks to a great basket from Rabaseda.
The second quarter was much like the first: both teams fighting for the slightest advantage. However, the intensity and excitement were ratcheted up a notch. The dunks from Bjelica, Vázquez and Ndong were manifest of both teams’ desire to win. In terms of fouls, Wallace and Lampe didn’t get to spend too many minutes on the court: both picked up a fast second foul. The bulk of the fight, however, was being fought under the basket by Lorbek and Teletovic. Like at the end of the first quarter, a basket at the buzzer from Eidson, this time, gave Barça the edge.
Lorbek and Teletovic continued duking it out in the third quarter. Lorbek scored Barça’s 7 first points, and then 10 of the team’s 12. Despite Navarro and Huertas being on the court, Lorbek was the team’s leader. Caja Laboral, not to be outdone, didn’t shy away from the Barça onslaught - the Palau went silent more than once as Caja Laboral bounced back after every Barça attack. Barça Regal wasn’t comfortable on the court, they were having difficulties on the counterattack, and they were losing by 4 with 10 minutes to go (48-52).
Barça Real shows their colours
When everyone was expecting a heart-stopping final minutes, Barça Regal showed their best play on defence. The team quickly grabbed the lead after fighting back from four points down and they managed to jump to the biggest lead of the night. The team went on a +4 and +6 run - the damage was done and Caja Laboral couldn’t keep pace with Barça’s scoring. Dusko Ivanovic’s team only scored five points in the last quarter, a testament to Barça’s defence... a defence that allows the Catalans to qualify for their third consecutive King’s Cup final.