Laboral Kutxa v FC Barcelona: Spectacular qualification (66-95)
FC Barcelona beat the hosts with a wonderful first half display (29-49) Navarro got 12 points in nine minutes after the break Abrines (16) was outstanding, as was Oleson
David R. Jover (special envoy)
Barça are through to their 17th consecutive final in ACB competitions, and they’ll be facing old foes Real Madrid. They proved much the better side against Laboral Kutxa in tonight’s Endesa Super Cup semi-final in Vitoria. They had already built up a handsome lead at half-time (29-49) and continued to dominate after the break, eventually taking it 66-95.
Strong from the off
All 13 of the players on this season’s roster know how to play in offence, and that means points. Oleson, Abrines and Doellman started punishing their hosts from the outset, and before Laboral Kutxa knew what had hit them, it was already 6-17. It looked like they were ready to react, but some brilliant defending denied them, and soon FCB led 9-26. The first period ended with a massive early lead of 16-31.
The hosts did mount a slight comeback early in the second period, but from 25-36 the Catalans soon had their feet on the accelerator once again, and got their lead back up to fifteen (25-40). The gulf in class was apparent, and by the time of the half-time buzzer, there were 20 points between the sides at 29-49.
Just gets better
Laboral Kutxa still couldn’t get their game together no matter how much the fans were behind them, and with Tomic and Pleiss excelling on the paint, they were powerless to find a response. Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Navarro was banging in the threes, getting 12 off them in this period, and after the first half hour Barça were flying away with it at 46-71.
The final period was a mere formality, but it did give the chance for Lampe and Hezonja to get some time on court, and it was the latter who got a three to make it 54-80 with five minutes to play. The only question was how much the Catalans were going to win by, and it all ended 66-95. Next up – Real Madrid!