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Barça Regal. PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB.

Barça Regal are one step away from the final of the Liga Endesa after beating Valencia Basket at La Fonteta this Wednesday by 64-80. Boniface Ndong considers Barça’s “reaction” was good to keep the Azulgranas in the series and that the game was won “deservedly.” With Wednesday’s result, the team led by Xavi Pascual now lead the series by 2-1 and, therefore, could close out the semifinal playoff this Friday against Valencia Basket.

Navarro and rebounds, key

Valencia Basket are eyeing the chance to extend the series to one final game, the fifth match in the semifinal, despite having to play in Barcelona. To force a fifth match, the Che side will have to stop Juan Carlos Navarro, who was key in Barça’s victory this Wednesday. The the Barça captain came onto the court, his leadership spurred the team on to a game-winning 7 to 20 run.

Another strong factor in Barça’s play that Perasovic will try to stop are in the rebound department. In the three matches of the series so far, the team that has claimed the most rebounds goes on to win the match. In the last match at La Fonteta, Barça snagged 39 rebounds to Valencia’s 28.

The Valencia Basket manager still does not know if Stefan Markovic, who was injured in the second match of the series, will be available to play this evening.

Pressure at La Fonteta

Barça Regal will have to weather the atmosphere at La Fonteta. The arena will once again be pack to the brim to pressure the Azulgranas. “It’s something special to have 9,000 people. Playing here is not easy, in front of such a passionate crowd,” said Ndong.

On the court, Pascual will have to find a way to stop two of the highest scorers on the Valencia Basket roster, Nando de Colo and Faverani, between the two of them they scored 42% of all the points in the last game. Barça also must try to dominate the rebounds. “We know how Valencia Basket play: they are tough, they commit a lot of fouls and we have to play at their intensity,” concluded Ndong.

Xavi Pascual will be able to call on all of his players for tonight’s match. If Barça Regal win, the Azulgranas will be in the final on the Liga Endesa.


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