Barça have won away to FIATC Joventut to win the best-of-three quarter final series without the need of the final match. Despite a strong performance, Badalona pushed their local rivals right to the end, but with Juan Carlos Navarro in inspired form a fine second half display was enough to secure passage into the last four of the ACB play-offs.
Barça powered off the blocks to the tune of a 0-7 lead in one minute but the home side soon started working ways of beating their rock-solid defending. Badalona quickly managed to sort out most of their defensive frailties but not Thomas or Satoransky who helped lead Xavi Pascual’s side into an 8-17 lead. But that advantage didn’t last long. A brilliant 11-2 streak soon got Badalona back on level terms.
Kirksay started the second period by shooting home a 3-pointer to put his side ahead, but Juan Carlos Navarro emerged just when Joventut were looking their strongest. The period didn’t see either side build up any kind of meaningful lead, with a Thomas slam-dunk on the buzzer meaning Barça went in narrow 36-38 leaders at the break.
Some poor FCB free throwing gave hope to Badalona, who after a long spell of playing catch-up managed to sneak into the lead with the period drawing to a close. But then Navarro came into his own, scoring five consecutive points and adding some great defensive plays for good measure, meaning that the final period would start with the visitors seven points ahead at 47-54.
There was setback when Navarro hobbled off with a hurt ankle, but Àlex Abrines and Lampe then provided a 3 and a 2 to put Barcelona on +12. Salva Maldonado modified his defensive tactics to no avail, for Oleson and Huertas soon slipped in threes to as good as secure the tie and qualification. Badalona battled hard, but they were fighting a lost cause by this stage and Barça triumphantly march on to the semi-finals.