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Asefa Estudiantes - Barça Regal / FOTO: ACB

Asefa Estudiantes - Barça Regal / FOTO: ACB

A flawless triumph for Barça Regal in Madrid's Palacio de los Deportes. In the first 13 minutes they imposed themselves with an impressive pace of the game and took a 16 point lead . An energetic Estudiantes side were able to get back into the match. With the game a bit out of control, the Catalans were hardly comfortable, but they were able to resist Estudiantes, in part, thanks to success from the three-point line (14 from 29). From the perimeter they destroyed the home team's morale and ended up winning comfortably.

Impressive start

Barça were in control from the start, and scored with their first three attempts, piercing their rivals' defence (7-2 lead, min 2). As usual, the Regal Barça defence was working well, and in attack they continued to recover their finesse. The home team manager, Pepu Hernandez, was forced to call an early timeout to put a brake on Barca's impressive start (14-4, min 4). Xavi Pascual's players were winning the on-court battles.

A great Lorbek, but with diminished influence

Lorbek carried on in his state of grace with 7 points, but had to be benched after 8 minutes for a technical foul that meant his third personal foul. Soon after, Estudiantes also suffered with a third foul by Driesen, their most active pivot. Barça ended a good first quarter with a decent 23-14 lead. Navarro was on court and contributed decisively to extending Barca's lead, teaming up well with Ndong (32-16, min 13). Regal Barça's shooting percentage was pretty impressive.

Reaction from Estudiantes

Despite the intimidation of Fran Vazquez (4 taps in the first half), Rodrigo de la Fuente's Estudiantes managed to revolutionise the game before the break and were able to reduce the difference in the score-line to below 10 points, with a partial 8-0 (min 17) . Two triples from Rabaseda and Mickeal put a partial brake on the Estudiantes reaction, just before the break (38-31). Estudiantes, more aggressive under the baskets, were very strong in offensive rebounds. At the most difficult time for Barça, like when the home side reduced the deficit to just 2 points (42-40), the away team's long throws began to pay off.

From triple to triple

The Estudiantes improvement was mainly down to the inspiration of Lofton, and their aggressive defence right at the limit of the rules. Marcelinho's decision making kept Regal Barça ahead (55-49, min 29). The away team upped the momentum at the start of the final quarter (62-52), thanks to an impressive Ndong, and triple throws. In fact, this quarter was a Barça recital from the three point line. Due to this factor, Barça increased their advantage and ended the match comfortable winners.

MATCH STATS

ASEFA ESTUDIANTES, 65
FCB REGAL, 80

Asefa Estudiantes: Granger (7), Lofton (17), Jimenez (4), Clark (4), Simons (9) - starting five - Fernandez (2), Driesen (6), Gabriel (13), and De la Fuente (3).

FCB Regal: Huertas (10), Ingles, Mickeal (9), Lorbek (9), Perovic (4) - starting five -  Sada (2), Navarro (15), Vazquez (2), Ndong (11), Rabaseda (3), and Eidson (15).

Referees: Redondo, Bulto, and Castillo.

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