Bilbao Basket the toughest opponent for Barça Regal despite the precedents
Catalans and Basques have met twice in the play-offs and Barça has won every game The last time they met in the final phase was in the 2010/11 final when Barça won 3-0
David R. Jover
Barça Regal and Uxue Bilbao Basket have met five times in two play-off series and Xavi Pascual's men have won them all. The first time the Catalans and Basques met in a final phase was in 2008. As now, it was in the quarterfinals and Barça beat Bilbao 75-64 in the Palau Blaugrana and 83-92 in La Casilla. The 2-0 series win sent Barça through to face Joventut in the ACB semi-finals. There, Barça also won 2-0 to go through to the final where they lost 3-0 to Baskonia.
A great final
Barça Regal played the final of the 2010/2011 Endesa League against Bilbao Basket. The team coached by Fotis Katsikaris was too good for Real Madrid in the semi-finals but Barça Regal, who got to the final phase in great form, won the first two games in the Palau 74-64 and 74-67. Barça went on to lift the league championship in the Bilbao Arena 55-64.
It won’t be easy
Although results from previous seasons can help gauge the strength of the opponent, this season Bilbao and Barça have met twice with one victory apiece. Barça lost 78-77 in the dying seconds in Bilbao while in the Palau Blaugrana, Barça won in extra time (87-85).
The Barça Regal coach, Xavi Pascual, is convinced that the Basque team will be difficult to beat: “Uxue Bilbao is the toughest opponent we could have got. They’ve got players with a lot of experience and quality. This year they played the final of the Eurocup. They’re a solid team with very experienced players. They’ll be difficult opponents but we hope to win playing good basketball”. There’s no margin for error in a three-game series where a defeat can complicate things a lot.