La Fuente San Luis was packed this Sunday for the match between Valencia Basket and Barça, two in-form teams. Xavi Pascual’s men had a magical first half (38-51) but a poor performance in the second half denied them the victory (95-93). With this defeat, Barça’s seven-game winning streak comes to an end.
Barça were decisive in the first quarter thanks to an initial run of 0-9. A timeout called by the Croatian manager broke Barça’s scoring frenzy, and little by little Valencia edged closer to the lead (16-18). The quarter came to an end with Barça up by six (20-26).
The second quarter started with a three pointer from Oleson and a basket from Pullen. Valencia weren’t comfortable against the best defence of the Liga Endesa but three consecutive turnovers from Barça gave Perasovic’s men a bit of breathing room. The half came to an end with 38 to 51 on the scoreboard.
Lafayette and Sato revolutionised the game in the second half, and brought the home team within four points of Barça (54-58). Papanikolaou went to the bench because he was on his fourth foul, and Barça were made to work hard against a very motivated Valencia team. The painful third quarter ended with Barça behind by four (71-67).
The final quarter saw both teams go for the win, but neither side managed to get a clear advantage. The score was 86 to 85 with two minutes left to go – in the end offensive rebounds for Valencia proved decisive as they went on to win 95 to 93.