Xavi Pascual's men won a vital match away against Ademar in León, if the Catalans win the last match of the tournament Barça will be League champions
ADEMAR LLEÓ, 30
FCB INTERSPORT, 34
Ademar Lleó: Álamo; Cabanas (1), Ruesga (5, 2 p), Ferrer (4), Baena (3), Antonio García (8), Stranovsky (2), Di Panda (2), Andreu (2), Jaime González, Cutura (3), Carrillo and Goñi.
FCB Intersport: Saric; Juanín García (3), Entrerríos (4), Jermenyr, Noddesbo (7), Nagy (5), Tomás (3), Rutenka (7), Morros (1), Sorhaindo (1), Igropoulo (3), Sarmiento and Ugalde.
Referees: Bustamante and Álvarez.
Runs: 4-3, 7-6, 10-8, 12-11, 14-14, 15-17 (half time), 17-20, 19-23, 22-27, 23-30, 26-32, 30-34 (final).
The Barça Intersport players did what they set out to do in León and they earned the chance to win the Liga in the last match of the season against Torrevieja at the Palau Blaugrana. The team led by Xavi Pascual didn’t succumb to the pressure and, knowing full well what was at stake, the Azulgranas put in a serious performance this evening. The Catalans controlled the match from the 15th minute until the end of the match against an Ademar side that had nothing at stake.
With an early run of 4-0, Ademar de León quickly took the lead on their home court (5-3, min 6). The transitions between offence and defence were lightning quick, which proved difficult for the 6-0 Barça defence to stop. The match had taken on a whirlwind pace, especially when Ademar attacked. There was no quarter. The exchange of blows was brutal (9-8, min 12).
Timeout and Saric changes the match
Pascual varied the defensive formation of his team to withstand the home side’s attacks, but the manager was forced to call a timeout to change the flow of the game (11-8, min 15). The manager urged his players to play with more intensity on defence, and it worked. From that point on Ademar’s attacks were not as fluid. Furthermore, Saric put in an amazing performance which helped his team come level with Ademar (12-12, min 21).
A goal from Entrerríos culminated a 1-5 run which established Barça’s first lead in the match (13-14, min 24). It was the home side’s manager, Isidoro Martínez, that called timeout to interrupt the flow of the game. The tactic didn’t work nor did Antonio García’s inspired performance helped Ademar stay in the game. The first half came to an end with 15-17 on the scoreboard. However the difference could have been greater, in the last second of the half, the keeper Vicente Álamo denied Juanín’s attempt on goal. Noddoesbo was the highest Barça scorer of the the half with four goals.
The break didn’t satiate Barça’s hunger for the win. The second half started out the same way the first had ended; Barça Intersport were concentrated on defence and incisive on offence (15-19, min33). Nagy was simply stellar. Between him and Rutenka, Ademar was kept at bay and the visiting side clearly dominated the half. The Barça players were scoring with ease, but the Ademar players were also starting to find the Catalan goal as well (22-26, min 43).
Half the league title
Barça’s lead slowly chipped away at Ademar’s nerves. The tension was growing as the seconds ticked towards the end of the match. Barça did well to maintain the distance between themselves and the home team. The Catalans, with a lot of confidence, ended up taking the match by only four goals (30-34). The victory gives Barça half the league title. The other half will need to be earned on Saturday, June 2nd against Torrevieja at the Palau.