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PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

Pascual and Guardiola, after the match / PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

Three out of three for Barça Regal in the Top-16. The team led by Xavi Pascual beat Zalgiris Kaunas, last placed team in the group, at the Palau in a game that wasn’t decided until the final quarter. It was a hard-fought victory, where the Azulgranas had to comeback against the Lithuanians after the visiting side took the lead in the second quarter. In the end, Barça Regal, with Josep Guardiola in the stands, dug deep to pull out the win. Three out of three and group leaders.

Unrealized advantage

Barça Regal, led by Huertas, started the game well, and jumped to a +10 point lead (28-18). The Lithuanian team need quite a bit of time to get themselves in the match and only Javtokas (12 points at the half) was preforming for his team. After a 5-0 run in the second quarter, the Barça Real team disconnected from the game.

Without clear idea on offence and too permissive on defence (they only committed one foul in the second quarter), Barça Regal watched as Zalgiris went on a 13-1 run that gave the visiting side the lead. Barça’s accuracy was lacking, and the difference would have been greater if Lorbek (13 points) and Vázquez (9) hadn’t stepped in to keep Barça in the game. At the half: 42-43.

Decisive free throws

All the two-pointers that Barça was missing was made up at the free throw line (20 out of 26). Zalgiris Kaunas accumulated a lot of fouls in the third quarter, allowing Barça to pile on the points despite their non-fluid attacking play. Little by little, Barça Regal took the lead. With 10 minutes to go,the result was 63-59.

Clinched in the final quarter

Despite the previous two quarters, Xavi Pascual’s men quickly gained their biggest advantage in the fourth quarter thanks to a 8-0 run (71-79). With a larger margin of error to work with, Barça Regal played out the final minutes of the match with confidence. Wallance, Ndong and Eidson were decisive in the final stretch of the match. Barça closed out the game with a victory and sits atop their Top-16 group having won all three of their Euroleague matches.

MATCH STATS

Barça Regal, 94
Zalgiris Kaunas, 80

Barça Regal (23+19+21+27): Huertas (11), Perovic (1), Ingles (5), Lorbek (19), Eidson (8) (starting five), Navarro (16), Wallace (5), Ndong (4), Mickeal (5), Sada, Vázquez (9)

Zalgiris Kaunas (18+25+16+19): Lipkevicius, Kalnietis (7), Jankunas (10), Javtokas (13), Weems (17) (starting five), Delininkaitis (9), Rakovic (12), Klimavicius, Collins (6), Salenga, Kuzminskas

Referees: Cerebuch, Sahin i Javor


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