A third consective cup title slips away as the Catalans are eliminated in the quarter finals
Barça have bowed out of the Copa del Rey surprisingly early, at the quarter final stage of the mid-season knockout competition for the eight highest ranked sides at the end of the first half of the Liga Endesa regular season.
They lost 78-82 to Valencia in Malaga, in a hostile environment, and in a game where the side lacked clarity in offence and not even Mirotic’s 25 points could salvage a place in the semi-finals.
It had started so well, with Barça storming into an 8-0 lead after three minutes, but Valencia quickly regrouped and an extraordinary 0-20 streak looked to have changed everything. But some inspired hoops by the quintet of Higgins, Delaney, Claver, Mirotic and Tomic meant there was just three in it at the break.
Valencia upped a gear, moving to +12 on the half hour, and with four minutes left very little had changed. It was then that the Catalans found a late surge. A Hanga three with three with ten seconds to go closed the gap to two.
Could Barça still do it? Doornekamp missed a free, and Barça had a possession to take the game into OT. But it wasn’t to be, and the cup is over for this season.
It also means there will be no game this weekend, and the side won’t return to action until February 21 and a Euroleague road trip to Panathinaikos.