Barça Regal were narrowly beaten 67-69 by Caja Laboral this Sunday in the Palau Blaugrana. The men coached by Xavi Pascual surrendered an unbeaten run of 14 games at the worst possible moment and against the worst possible opponent. Caja Laboral has a five victory lead over Barça and consolidates second place in the Endesa League.
Too many errors
It wasn’t a good performance from either team. The team won that made the fewest errors in a match where a ten-point disadvantage was just too much to claw back with such poor shooting accuracy. Barça Regal trailed by 41-51 at the end of the third quarter and the effort of fighting back from behind took its toll on the players as they came within two points of forcing overtime.
Defence on top
Caja Laboral, coached by Zan Tabak and led by Lampe, who scored their first eight points, were focussed from the tip off. Barça Regal worked their back in and at the end of the first quarter the game was tied 14-14. Shooting accuracy improved little from either team in the second quarter and both defences were on top. At the break it was 27-28 and the game looked set for a tight finish where every point would count.
Causeur the key
Caja Laboral broke the deadlock in the third quarter with Causeur in excellent form. A three-pointer and several two-pointers were enough to establish a 10-point lead (41-51) and leave the Basques well in control. Barça Regal couldn’t bring any rhythm to their game and were punished by Causeur, Bjelica and Nocioni. The effort to catch up was taking its toll on the Barça players.
Saras takes command
At this decisive moment, Sarunas Jasikevicius took responsibility and a partial score of 8-0 brought Barça to within 2 points (50-52), but once again Caja Laboral hit back and opened a small gap with points from San Emeterio. In the final minutes Nocioni and Lampe gave the visitors an eight-point lead (57-65) and despite a spirited finish from Barça the game slipped from their grasp 67-69.