Marcelinho and Ndong / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Barça Regal, the current champions and leaders of the Lliga Endesa, are away to Valencia Basket at 20.45 this evening and they are determined to be at their best and take their second win in the series after their hosts won the last game at the Palau to draw level 1-1. Xavi Pascual’s men need to turn in a performance like their first game of the series, but the coach admitted: “we will have to be mentally strong to beat Valencia”.

La Fonteta will be packed full with 9,000 Valencia fans waving their orange scarves and the home coach is banking on the atmosphere to inspire his team, reminding them: “never giving up is a sign of our identity”. Marcelinho Huertas though, believes Barça won’t be spooked by the atmosphere, claiming: “the team have the capacity to win there – just have we have done in other tough places this season”.

Regular season win

Xavi Pascual’s team silenced another full house at La Fonteta during the regular season, winning 68-72 in week seven, with Navarro heading the scoring with 14 points. Barça dominated for the first 30 minutes, but were pushed hard in the final quarter.

Navarro and Markovic

Regal captain Juan Carlos Navarro is “progressing well” and should be available for the game, but Valencia may not be so lucky with Markovic, who was injured in the second game at the Palau: “unless there is a spectacular improvement, he won’t play” said coach Perasovic in his press conference ahead of the game.

Good record in the play-offs

Barça Regal have played two play off games previously in Valencia and won them both. The first on June 24th 2003 saw Fucka and Jasikevicius lead them to a 74-82 win and they went on to win the league as part of their famous treble winning campaign. In the second game of the quarter finals on May 19th 2009, Barça again came out top, winning 55-81, with Andersen and Navarro steering them into the semi finals.

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