FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are preparing to meet for the fourth consecutive year in the final of the Liga ACB. Barça have won three of those clashes, only losing in 2012/13, and are hoping to retain the title they took last season in a series that went down to the final game.
In the Spanish Super Cup, Liga Endesa, Euroleague and Copa del Rey, the sides have already met six times this season and now go into a best-of-five series for the domestic title.
Xavi Pascual’s side beat Unicaja in the semi-finals following a comfortable 2-0 sweep of FIATC Joventut in the quarters. But after winning the first two games in the semis, Barça lost twice in Malaga to send the series into a definitive fifth back in Barcelona, where Navarro scored a late 3-pointer that Suárez failed to replicate at the other end and Barça were through to the final. Navarro played a key role in that gripping semi-final encounter, as did Huertas, with an average of 12.4 points in the series, followed by Satoransky, with 13.4 and Tomic with 11.2.
The team went through a slump midway through the regular season but managed to pick themselves up and eventually finish above Unicaja in the table to secure second place. Barça had the best defensive record in the championship and also led in assists, free throws, 2-pointers and 3-pointers.
Madrid may not have won in any of those key categories but it was them who topped the regular season table from start to finish, other than one short surrender of the lead to Unicaja. They had the best overall attacking stats (96.03 points) on their way to a 27-7 record.
They started the playoffs by easing through their quarter final with Herbalife Gran Canària (2-0) but found it tougher going against Valencia in the semis, losing one of their opening two games at the Palacio de los Deportes before a buzzer-beating score from Llull grabbed a late win on the road in in game three. They followed that with another away win to scoop the series 3-1.
Sergi Llull, with an average of 16.8, had leads the Madrid scoring in the end season. He’s followed by Felipe Reyes with 14.8 and Sergio Rodríguez with 12.5.