Lucentum, FC Barcelona Regal's Cup rival (Photo: arxiu - FCB)

FC Barcelona’s first obstacle in the King’s Cup 2012 is Lucentum Alicante. The Alicante side was a strong contender at the top of the league table early this season; they are currently fifth in the league standings with 13 victories and 7 defeats. Alicante is managed by the Basque, Txus Vidorreta. The manager has been able to keep his team competitive despite losing his strongest offensive player, the American Kyle Singler, signed for Real Madrid after Rudy Fernández left for the NBA.

The Alicante side, without Singler, bases much of its offensive work in the Bulgarian Kaloyan Ivanov, MVP of the ACB this December and most valued player of the league -20.3 points per game- he’s also the player with the most rebounds. Lucentum is strong on defence (fourth best in the ACB with 71 points conceded per game) and their perimeter shooting is strong (second best team shooting triples, 36.7%).

The last game against Barça Regal, without Ivanov

This season, Barça beat Alicante in their latest visit to the Palau (65-49). The game was decided by Barça’s strong defence and determination on offence, Alicante put up a fight despite missing their start player, Ivanov.

Barça 6 out of 7 against Alicante

Even though this will be the first time both teams face off in the Cup, it won’t be their first time playing against each other. Of the seven matches they’ve played until now, Barça has won six while Alicante has only won one. The Alicante side beat Barça at the Palau after coming back from 20 points down in 2005 (71-73). In all the other occasions, Barça has always won, including the game where they outscored Lucentum by 40 points (114-72 in 2009).

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