Gran Canaria 2014 vs FC Barcelona Regal

Two overtimes and an agonizing finish handed Barça Regal their fifth defeat in the Liga Endesa (93-90). Despite an on-form Juan Carlos Navarro, who forced the two overtimes, Xavi Pascual’s team ended up losing a match after trailing by 14 points.

Doubts in the first quarter

Even though Barça didn’t start off strong and Gran Canaria was erratic in their first offensive plays, a 7-0 run in the first quarter foreshadowed why Gran Canaria is so strong on their home court. Two three-pointers from Navarro and Micheal appeared to have plugged Barça into the game. It was only an illusion, however, Barça wasn’t fluid on offence and the all-yellows started to control the the rhythm of the match. Little by little they gained ground and increased their lead. Gran Canaria were demanding on offence, there possessions were long, and their defence stood tall. Without being able to react, another 9-2 run for the home side closed out a worrisome first quarter (20-15).

Two three-pointers from Alverado and Nelson pushed Gran Canaria even father ahead (32-19). Barça looked as though they lacked confidence; they were irregular on offence and soft on defence. The Catalan side wasn’t able to find a way to consistently sink shots and the distance between the two sides grew to 10 points. Baskets from Marcelinho and Navarro did bring Barça within six of home side, however. But a brilliant three-pointer from Nelson closed out the half, the scoreboard read 43-24. Barça had to react in the second half.

In the third quarter Barça came out swinging. They were plugged into the match and they were more effective on offence. Three-pointers from Navarro and Marcelinho brought Barça within three points of Gran Canaria (48-45). It looked as though it was the turning point but the the home side didn’t shy away from the challenge. Gran Canaria, from the three-point line, went on a 8-0 run thanks to Pedro Martínez halfway through the third quarter. Time was running out and Pascual looked to Ndong, Rabaseda and Ingles solutions. At the end of the quarter, however, the home side had once again established a 10-point lead.

Barça reaction

A three-pointer from Lorbek and a counterattack led by Rabaseda brought Barça within five points. It was time to shore up the defence and Xavi Pascual forced his men to do it. Five points from Ingles brought Barça even closer to Gran Canaria. The leaders of the Liga Endesa were keeping their options of winning the match open. Navarro sunk a three-pointer that brought Barça within one (68-67) with three minutes to go. Bramos responded with his own three-pointer to put his team four points up. In the next play, two free throws from Ingles brought Barça within two points with 22 seconds remaining. Navarro, full of confidence, forced a foul from Nelson and he didn’t miss his two free throws. Savané had the chance to end the match, but his shot didn’t find its mark. First overtime.

Navarro forces another overtime

Barça had done its work, and now it was time to put it all on the line to win the match. With the same dynamic as the last quarter, Lorbek took over for Navarro and he scored five consecutive points. The fifth personal foul from Nelson looked as though Xavi Pascual’s men would take the game but Gran Canaria didn’t give up. A 8-0 run from the home team put the all yellows in front once again (84-81). Barça had their backs against the well. Navarro, once again, took responsibility and he forced yet another over time.

Weary final

The second overtime proved too much for a team that had played three games this week. It was time to keep cold heads and a focus mind, the free throws would determine the outcome of the game. For the first time, Barça took the lead in the last minute of the match, but Palacios and Xavi Rey killed the game off from the free-throw line. Thus, Barça lost its fifth match of the Liga Endesa.

MATCH STATS

Gran Canària 2014, 93: Haynes (11), Dowdell (2), Savané (13), Bramos (10), Palacios (6), Bellas (8), Nelson (15), Alvarado (13), Beirán (4), Rey (11).

FC Barcelona Regal, 90: Sada (2), Huertas (8), Navarro (21), Perovic (3), Wallace (2), Ingles (10), Ndong (2),  Rabaseda (7), Lorbek (20), Mickeal (15)