The latest edition of the basketball Clásico at Real Madrid came to a frustrating end for Barça Lassa when Sergio Llull snatched a win for the home team in the final second.
And that was despite a very strong start from the Catalans, with Oleson contributing six consecutive points to get them into an early 7-15 lead. Perperoglou and Rice helped cancel out some effective 3-point throwing from Real, but the hosts had managed to claw their way back to level terms (23-23) by the end of the first period.
Carroll and Othello Hunter led the Madrid charge in the second period, and threes from Randolph, Doncic and Llull established the first two-figure lead of the game. Six points from Vezenkov on the paint made sure that Barça didn’t fall any further adrift and half-time time came around with the all-whites in comfortable charge (47-36).
Eight third period points from Perperoglou were the key to the Barça Lassa recovery. A 4-11 streak cut the margin to five, with 3-pointers again proving to be Madrid’s strongest weapon as the period ended 62-57.
With the respective defences both finding their A-game towards the end, the scoring became slower and slower. Threes from Eriksson and Rice closed the gap to two (71-69) and it was now a case of avoiding errors. Perperoglou made it 72-71 and then Tomic finally had Barça leading with just a minute on the clock.
Barça hadn’t led since the first period, and now had Madrid right against the ropes. The final few seconds were as gripping as hoops can get, with Tomic edging Barça back ahead with six to play (74-75). But right at the end, Sergio Llull led the final Madrid surge, bagged two points and claimed victory against a Barça side that had battled hard to the end and will go away feeling that they deserved the win.