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Barça Regal's was the key to tonight's vicotry / PHOTO: A.Arrizabalaga - ACBPHOTO

On June 14, 2011 Barça Regal won the League after beating Bilbao (55-64). This Sunday, almost nine months later after that success, Xavi Pascual’s men once again proved their worth on one of the most difficult courts of the Liga Endesa, where only Banca Cívica, Caja Laboral and Lagun Aro GBC have won.

Both teams started the game at an extremely high pace. An initial balance of 4 to 13 for Barça unmasked the Catalan team’s intentions. Sada, Mickeal, Lorbek and Navarro gave the team the initiative that was needed to take the early lead. The difference on the scoreboard grew a bit more after Mumbrú committed a technical foul for repeatedly questioned the referee’s calls. Barça Regal closed out the first quarter with a three-pointer from Marcelinho (6-23).

Concentrated and on target

Raúl López and Roger Grimau brought a breath of fresh air and injected a bit of character into a deflated Gescrep Bizkaia. The Basque side immediately reacted (15-27). Vázquez, with six consecutive points, maintained Barça’s lead. Two three-pointers from Wallace, another from Marcelinho (19-38) and a fantastic demonstration of concentration from the team allowed Barça to go to the half with a commanding 28-44.

At the start of the second half, Bizkaia, who are in the thick of the fight to win a play-off spot, tried to cut into Barça’s lead. Vasileiadis, Mavroeidis and Grimau allowed their team to come within 12 points of Barça (40-52). Pascual was rotating his bench well and the Catalan team’s intense defence, the best in Europe, proved enough to keep the Basques at bay (44-61).

Basque reaction at the end

After a series of errors in the last quarter, Bizkaia battled back to put 59-68 on the board with one minute remaining in the game. Mickeal, Perovic and Navarro scored four free throws which put the game beyond reach of home side (65-72).

D’or Fischer, Bizkaia player, and Chuck Eidson, were the two big absences in tonight’s match. Barça’s next match will be on Thursday at 21:00 at the Palau. The team will take on Banca Cívica.

MATCH STATS

GESCRAP BIZKAIA, 65
FCB REGAL, 72

Gescrap Bizkaia (6+22+16+21): Jackson (12), Blums, Mumbrú, Hervelle (9) and Mavroeidis (8) -starting five- Raül López (8), Vasileiadis (22), Grimau (6), Banic, Josh Fisher and Samb.

FCB Regal (23+21+17+11): Sada (5), Navarro (7), Mickeal (6), Lorbek (15) and Ndong (2) -starting five- Marcelinho (8), Ingles, Rabaseda (1), Wallace (11), Vázquez (12) and Perovic (5).

Referees: Pérez Pizarro, Jiménez and Martínez Fernández.

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