With Mickeal, Navarro, Oleson or Tomic and with Rabasseda injured during the game, Barça Regal beat Montepaschi in Siena on Friday evening. Despite the injuries and the fact that they had already ensured top spot, the team put in an inspired performance led by the sensational Nathan Jawai and Joe Ingles and ended with a comfortable win against a Montepaschi who were fighting for their lives.
The hosts showed the urgency of their situation with a powerful start that took them into a 10-0 lead before Xavi Pascual called a time out. Montepaschi were proving strong with their long distance shooting and were 16-4 up on 4 minutes. Barça didn’t get their first three pointer till two minutes later when Huertas made it 21-9. Joe Ingles then led the fightback, as Barça scored 21 to Montespachis 2 points to draw things level at 23-23 on 9 minutes,
Despite the injury to Rabaseda at the start of the second quarter, Barça began to impose their iron defence on the game and two scores from Abrines gave them the lead for the first time on 13 minutes and as the quarter continued, they stretched that to 40-35 at the break with Huertas and the immense Jawai joining Ingles in the scoring stakes.
With a series of spectacular scores, Jawai continued to dominate in the third quarter, as Barça moved into a 45-54 lead on 23 minutes. The hosts had lost their ability to score the three pointers and with Joe Ingles again racking up the points, Barça led by 11 points (52-63) on 28 minutes, as the whole team chipped in.
Hosts’ fightback frustrated
Going into the final quarter 10 points adrift, the Italians made one final push and made it a five point game (65-70) with four minutes to play as the home crowd put on the pressure, but Wallace proved his worth and although the lead did slip to just three points, a score from Marcelinho and Jawai – 22 points and 12 rebounds – guided Barça through to a well deserved win.