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FCB REGAL-UNICAJA. PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS (FCB).

Barça Regal won its eighth consecutive victory in the Liga ACB against the always difficult and on form Unicaja. The Andalusians surprised Barça at the start, but Pascual’s men regrouped, intensified their defensive play and took the game. This was the latest of Barça’s many displays of defensive power this season, which allows them to retain top spot with 10 wins and 1 defeat.

Good start from the visitors

The good start under the rim allowed Unicaja to take the initial minutes of the game by the scruff, although the first basket of the game came after two minutes in. Unicaja alternated between man-to-man and zone defence, which threw Barça off its game (4-9, min. 5). Xavi Pascual was forced to call a timeout and introduce Boniface Ndong to give Barça more consistency with rebounds. Despite the tactical switch, Unicaja opened the distance between the two sides to nine points (10-19, min. 8) with simple yet effective play.

Lead at the half

With Ndong on the court, Barça Regal started to gain momentum under the basket and they were able to fight back and take the lead on 13 minutes (24-23). The team had managed to slow the Andalusian offence, even though Freeland was making his presence felt on the court. Barça was much more aggressive and the Catalans were able to open up a lead just before the break (39-36).

Well oiled machine

Navarro showed up in the third quarter, he was having an interesting duel with Fitch. However, Barça’s biggest threat on offence was Ndong, who was having a fantastic game. Edison as well, with touches of brilliance like the shot that put his team up 56-44 (min. 27). Marcelinho was authoritative on the court as well. Barça definitively pulled away in the third quarter (66-48). Unicaja was feeling the absence of Zoric, Valters and Freeland’s physical issues weren’t helping either.

With the game beyond Unicaja’s reach, Barça Regal let up a bit, which allowed Unicaja cut into the home side’s lead. But at no point was Barça’s 900th win in the ACB under any threat.

MATCH STATS

FCB REGAL, 72
UNICAJA, 62

FC Barcelona Regal (14+25+27+6): Huertas (9), Navarro (7), Mickeal (8), Lorbek (-), Vázquez (-) -starting five-, Sada (1), Perovic (9), Wallace (5), Ndong (14), Eidson (19) i Rabaseda (-).

Unicaja (19+14+15+14): Rowland (6), Fitch (19), Peric (12), Garbajosa (3), Lima (2) -starting five-, Rodríguez (-), Valters (4), Freeland (12), Abrines (-), Sinanovic (2) y Blanco (2).

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