FCB-Siena in the Palau (Photo: Àlex Caparrós-FCB)

Navarro, training before the match against Siena (Photo: Àlex Caparrós)

Good basketball fans are in for a treat, an unmissable match, this Thursday in the Palau Blaugrana. The game between the champions of the Liga ACB and the Italian LEGA will go head to head at 20.45 hours (Esport 3).

The outcome between Barça Regal and Montepaschi Siena will decide which team takes top spot in group D of the first phase of the European Championship. Both teams are unbeaten with three wins in three games. Pascual’s men, however, are current leaders because of their more favorable point scored and points conceded record.

Barça Regal, leading up to the match

The Catalans are ready for their Italian rivals after beating FIATC Mutua Joventut in the Catalan derby this past weekend (82-70). The good form from the forwards and the team play from Pascual’s men this season is notably improving: Boniface Ndong and Erazem Lorbek are performing at a very high level; Fran Vázquez, Kosta Perovic and CJ Wallace make for a potent and powerful interior play.

In Europe, they are playing some great basketball that has earned the team three straight victories. Juan Carlos Navarro will be another protagonist in tonight’s match, he’s only 34 points away from catching Marcus Brown’s record as all-time high scorer of the Euroleague. The American, ex Maccabi, Zalgiris, CSKA, or Unicaja player, retired with 2715 points in his European career. Navarro, is also only three triples away from being the second all-time highest player with the most three pointers in the Euroleague. The second place is currently held by another retired player, JR Holden, with 377 triples.

The opponent

The Italians will arrive at the Palau with three straight victories as well. Pianigiani’s, good personal friend of Pascual, men play similarly to the Azulgrana. The defence revolves around well executed and fast counter attacks along with wide play. Pascual warned that it was difficult to defend against this style of play in the press conference before the match.

All eyes will be on Bo McCalebb, even though Marcelinho warned that it would be a mistake to just focus on the American born Macedonian. Siena has a group of players that have played a number of years together, Stonerook, Lavrinovic, Kaukenas and th ex-Barça player David Andersen form a fearsome group of players.

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