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Boniface Ndong during the game / PHOTO: ACB MEDIA

The first quarter was even, the second belonged to Real Madrid, Barça dominated in the third and total equilibrium in the fourth, where Barça managed to equalize on three occasions. Martynas Pocius, however, tipped the game for Madrid at end of the match.

Tomic-Boni duel

The first quarter offered up minutes of intensity, equilibrium and an interesting duel between the forwards of the two teams, Ante Tomic and Boniface Ndong. Both men came out strong with their play in the paint and the first quarter ended with each player scoring six points a piece. Pete Micheal had a notable appearance in the first quarter, but the American small forward accumulated two quick personal fouls and spent the rest of the half on the bench.

Xavi Pascual’s men dominated the offensive rebounds but a 6-0 run in the first two minutes put Real Madrid up by four (16-12). Ingla, with 4 straight points mitigated Madrid’s lead and at the end of the 10th minute Madrid only had a 2 point lead.

Madrid hits back with three pointers

The second quarter saw both teams on relatively equal footing. The flow of the game was identical to the previous quarter, but in the last four minutes, two triples from Suárez and Carroll, plus a free throw from Mirotic, put the Blancos seven ahead (37-30). The run was 9-0 for the local team, which was stopped by four straight points from Ndong - the best interior man for Barça -, but two more triples from Carroll and another from the Lithuanian, Pocius, closed out the scoring for the second quarter (48-36).

Thrid quarter, Culé reaction

At the start of the second half, Pete Micheal, despite committing another fast personal foul, carried his team and assumed the role of point scorer. An 8-0 Azulgrana run, with a very active Marcelinho, brought Pascual’s men within 5 points (57-52). Despite the triple at the end from Llull, that gave the home team a +8 lead, two straight baskets from CJ Wallace and another from Fran Vázquez closed out the scoring for the third quarter (62-58).

Pocius decides the match

With a little less than five minutes remaining on the clock, Erazem Lorbek was brought in. The Slovenian, who has been dealing with an injury looked as though he wasn't completely fit on the court, drew Barça level at 68. Huertas tied the game again on two separate occasions (70-70 and 72-72), but at the end, an inspired Pocius and a personal foul on Carroll tipped the game in Madrid’s favour. Real Madrid- FC Barcelona Regal 78-74.

MATCH STATS

REIAL MADRID, 78
BARÇA REGAL, 74

Reial Madrid (18+30+14+16): Sergio Rodríguez (4), Suárez (11), Pocius (10), Mirotic (6) and Tomic (16) -starting five- Reyes (6), Llull (7), Singler (0), Carroll (16) and Begic (2)

Barça Regal (16+20+22+16): Huertas (13), Eidson (7), Mickeal (14), Lorbek (4) and Ndong (12) -starting five- Rabaseda (2), Sada (0), Vázquez (6), Ingles (7) and Wallace (9).

Referees: Hierrezuelo, Jiménez and Cortes.

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