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PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Games like this evening’s should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. When winning at home is a must, Barça Regal does it. When a response to a particular style of play needs to be found, Barça Regal finds it. The Palau Blaugrana experienced a magical night, although it didn’t end in a title celebration, it felt like Barça had won the league. The 73-62 scoreline in favour of Barça Regal over Real Madrid in the fourth match of the final playoff series for the title leaves the Catalans with a chance to make history on Wednesday. No one should doubt a championship winning team.

Tomic steps up to the plate

Barça Regal came out swinging in the first quarter of the match, they had no other choice. The previous slow starts played a crucial role in Barça’s chances of taking the win in the previous matches of the final series. But in this fourth battle, Barça’s tactic was to get the ball to Ante Tomic. The Croat scored all seven of his first quarter shots, taking his tally to 14 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. After the first quarter, Barça led Madrid by 23 to 17.

Equality in the second quarter

Even though Barça Regal had the lead, their scoring percentage went down in the second quarter. The pace of the match slowed, and the defences from both teams started to impose their will. This translated into a quarter that saw both teams barely break the 10-point mark. The 11 to 15, thanks to a three pointer from Sergio Rodríguez, saw both the teams go to the break with 34 to 32 on the scoreboard.

The teams dig in

The start of the second half was similar to the second quarter. Ante Tomic didn’t get a lot of plays in the paint and Barça Regal were forced to take their shots from beyond the perimeter. Even though the scoring wasn’t very high, Pascual’s men managed to preserve a six-point lead throughout the quarter. The 45 to 39, thanks to a three-pointer from Oleson, quickly turned into a 49 to 45 by the end of the quarter due to Madrid’s unwillingness to drop too far behind their rivals.

Barça victory

Laso’s men were more aggressive in the final 10 minutes of the match. Once a Barça player got the ball he found himself instantly double teamed. The tactic worked in Madrid’s favour as they came within two points of the lead (63 to 61). The Catalans, however, killed the game off from the free throw line and with a three-pointer from Oleson. The final 73 to 62 forces a fifth and final match in the series. The game will be played in Madrid, and it promises to be exciting.

MATCH FACTS

FCB Regal, 73
Real Madrid, 62

Barça Regal: Huertas (11), Navarro (7), Rabaseda (0), Lorbek (11) and Tomic (18) -starting five-; Sada (2), Jasikevicius (0), Todorovic (5), Wallace (2), Mavrokefalidis (10), Ingles (0), Oleson (7).

R. Madrid: Llull (9), Rudy (8), Suárez (0), Mirotic (6) and Begic (4) -starting five-; Draper (7), Reyes (10), Rodríguez (6), Carroll (2), Darden (6), Slaughter (4).

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