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Navarro and Pocius / PHOTO: ACBMEDIA

Hope springs eternal and despite the defeat in the third game, Barça Regal go into the fourth match against Real Madrid this Wednesday(22.00) determined to take the series into the fifth game at the Palau. This is the last chance to stay in the competition and it’s got to be all or nothing for Xavi Pascual’s men.

Stop Madrid’s scoring spree

The first thing that Barça will have to do is to reduce Real Madrid’s scoring after they have so far averaged 80 points a game in the play offs so far. The North American Jaycee Carroll, with an average of 15 points, is Pablo Laso’s team’s main threat.

Controlling the rebound is key to stopping Madrid, who have taken 21 more than Barça so far. A good performance from Fran Vázquez under the basket and the recovery of Boniface Ndong, who has been carrying an ankle injury, are vital to ensure a win, but perhaps even more important is the need for Xavi Pascual to lift the team and recreate the good impression they have created all season.

Last fightback in 1999/2000

The last time Barça lost by 26 points in the play offs in Madrid was in the 1999/2000 season, when Aíto García Reneses’ team went down 87-61 in the third game, before bouncing back and wining the fourth game 71-80 to force the fifth game.

Barça will need their star performers Lorbek and Mickeal to improve on their game in the third match and regain the heights their showed in the early part of the series. Captain Juan Carlos Navarro, who was averaging 17 points a game in the early stages of the series, also needs to overcome his own injury niggles and score more than the eight he got in the last game.

Players confident

Despite the big defeat on Monday, the players aren’t throwing in the towel and are determined to bring the series back to the Palau. Navarro, the player who has played in most finals insists: “it doesn’t matter if you win by 30 or a single point – this isn’t over yet”.

Xavi Rabaseda, who has been making his debut in a league play off, is equally determined: “none of us are prepared to give this up. We are representing many Barça fans and we cannot stop fighting for this title”. Finally, Víctor Sada insists: “we have to go all out and fight for the title”.


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