Barça have begun their play-off campaign with a clear victory over Joventut by 77-55 in the Palau Blaugrana. Xavi Pascual’s team have struck first in the best of three play off against a side who had beaten them at home during the regular season. This time Barça did not give their local rivals a chance. With some excellent play on defence and with complete domination on the low post, the blaugranes were in control of the Catalan derby from the tip off to the final buzzer.
‘La Penya’ aka Joventut, took their time to get going with the visitors not scoring in the first two and a half minutes of the contest. Xavi Pascual’s team were more intense in the initial minutes and took a 15 to 8 lead. With the blaugranes dominating the boards, that lead grew to 23-10 with 10 minutes of the game gone. The Barça coach used his bench well with Juan Carlos Navarro not making an appearance until the second quarter. A basket from the captain made it 27-11 and then Justin Doelmann appeared to help stretch the blaugranes’ lead. Tomic, Satoransky, Abrines also played their part in establishing a 42-21 half time lead for the home side.
The second half saw a breakneck pace to the game with the two sides interchanging baskets for fun. Barça, understandably with their advantage from the first half, took their foot of the gas a little. ‘La Penya’ pulled it back to 64-48 with Xavi Pascual reserving the likes of Tomic ahead of the second of the three game tie. Nevertheless, Satoransky took control and guided the home side to a well earned victory ahead of the second game to come away at Joventut in Badalona just a handful of kilometeres north of the city of Barcelona.