The players celebrate the title

The players celebrate the title/ FOTO: ARXIU FCB

Barça started off the Liga Endesa with five consecutive victories against Valencia Basket, Fiat Juventud, Bruja de Oro, Gipuzkoa Basket and Iberostart Tenerife. In their sixth and seventh games, Xavi Pascual’s men were defeated by Bilabo Basket and then by Río Natura Monbus. Two setbacks that didn’t change the blaugrana manager’s approach to the season. Little by little the team progressed and showed flashes of what it could do, like the spectacular +100-point victory against CB Valladolid (109-50).

Unfortunately, Barça are capable of showing their best version and their worst. The painful defeat at home to Real Madrid, just before the first Top 16 match in the Euroleague, hurt the team. But the players and the managers bounced back and closed out the first half of the season with a run of seven consecutive wins.

Preparing for the playoffs

The second half of the season was better than the first and Barça closed out the regular season with 27 victories and 7 defeats. Despite losing to Valencia Basket, they would only pick up one more defeat until the playoffs. Pascual’s men managed to secure the third spot of the table – only bested by Real Madrid and Valencia Basket. Once the playoffs came around, the team showed their best form.

La Liga comes home

After dispatching Laboral Kutxa by 2-0 in the quarterfinals and eliminating Valencia Basket 3-2 in the semifinals, Barça surged in the final series to take the title without having to force a fifth and final game. The blaugrana won their first match of the final 98 to 93 away to Real Madrid. Los Blancos took the second game 87 to 78 at home. The third match saw Barça put in a spectacular performance which put the series at 2-1 thanks to the 94 to 79 scoreline. The fourth and final game was played and won at the Palau Blaugrana. Barça knew that this was their chance to win the title in front of the home fans. In the final game Barça’s defence was intense, and going forward they were lethal. Marcelinho Huertas was up for the challenge; Juan Carlos Navarro was dangerous from anywhere on the court, and Tomic unsettled Madrid’s defence with only his presence. The 2013/14 Liga was conquered at the Palau.