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Huertas only scored two points / PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

The King’s Cup 2012 went to Real Madrid. Los Blancos, having lost in the past two editions of the Cup to Barça, won at the Palau Sant Jordi; both Carroll and Llull had excellent performances. Xavi Pascual’s men, led by Ndong, weren’t given an option and their defence wasn’t as strong as it has been (their points conceded average in the ACB League is 67 points). Furthermore, Barça had to cope with the unfortunate injury of Chuck Eidson right before the break, when the Catalans were only down by nine points. This is Madrid’s first Cup title in 19 years, which sees Barça’s excellent title - 11 out of 14 titles- streak halted.

Llull starts strong

As in the semifinal against Caja Laboral, Barça Regal started off a bit slower than their rivals. Madrid took advantage and they quickly went on a 0-5 and 12-18 runs, especially thanks to an excellent Llull (10 points in the first quarter). The Azulgranas were lacking in intensity on defence. On offence, things were working fairly well, with a powerful Ndong under the basket - he forced two quick fouls from Tomic- and with Navarro sinking shots from the perimeter.

Off-target Barça

The team managed by Pascual picked up the slack on defence at the start of the second quarter. However, Lorbek, who wasn’t as active tonight as he was in the semifinal, earned a second foul. Madrid kept on making their shots despite a more aggressive Barça. The team’s high conversion rate was the deciding factor in the second quarter at Sant Jordi. Little by little, despite Barça’s offensive rebounds, the distance between the two sides grew to 11 points (25-36). In the last minute before the half, Eidson hurt his knee and the team didn’t convert on two clear counterattack chances. Too many errors from the Barça side to mount a convincing comeback before the break (33-42).

Ndong was everywhere

At the start of the second half, Barça Regal managed to cut into Madrid’s lead. Ndong was proving essential for Barça’s title hopes: he scored, assisted, rebounded and he was even blocking. He was everywhere. Barça went on a 6-0 run thanks to Lorbek, and the team came within one of Madrid. A triple from Llull at the end of the quarter silenced Sant Jordi, however. Madrid was nine up.

A definitive run

All of Barça Regal’s options faded away in the last quarter. A 0-8 run from Madrid put Los Blancos up by 17 points (56-73). There were more than eight minutes on the clock but the title was already decided. The third consecutive Cup was simply not possible at Sant Jordi.

MATCH STATS

Barça Regal, 74
Reial Madrid, 91

Barça Regal (17+16+23+18): Huertas (2), Mickeal (10), Eidson (5), Lorbek (15), Ndong (19) (starting five), Sada, Vázquez (2), Navarro (16), Wallace, Ingles, Rabaseda (5).

Reial Madrid (22+20+23+26): Llull (23), Suárez (9), Singler (4), Mirotic (9), Tomic (2) (starting five), Begic (10), Carroll (22), Pocius (6), Reyes (2), Sergio Rodríguez (2), Velickovic (2), Sanz.

Referees: Hierrezuelo, Pizarro i González.

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