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Ingles and Wallace / PHOTO: ACB Photo / Miiguel Henríquez

Barça Regal secured their seventh consecutive league final berth this Wednesday when defeated Herbalife Gran Canaria. It’s the first time in Spanish basketball history for a team to reach this many consecutive finals. Xavi Pascual’s men were made to work for this evening’s victory, but their experience and talent proved sufficient enough to see their rivals out of the competition.

Excitement and intensity

As expected, the fans at the Centro Insular de Deportes urged their team on from the start of the match and Gran Canaria made it clear that they weren’t going to go down without a fight. Beirán and Toolson gave the home team a five-point lead, 18 to 13, but the Catalans reacted thanks to Mavrokefaladis, who scored almost six consecutive points to keep Barça Regal within striking distance (18-17).

Oleson and the zone

In the second quarter, Pascual’s men surprised Herbalife with a zone defence. Pascual’s 2-3 layout made it difficult for the home team on the attack. While Oleson and Ingles quickly gave Barça Regal a six-point lead, 22-28. The home team, pushed on by the public, drew level with Barça, but three-pointers from Ingles and Huertas saw the teams to the break with 36 to 39 on the scoreboard.

Navarro leads the way

At the start of the second half, Barça Regal opened up a small advantage. Juan Carlos Navarro, Huertas and Ingles led the team to a nine-point lead (42-51). The pace of the match was dizzying, but despite their intensity, Gran Canaria were unable to knock down shots. This allowed Barça to go into the final quarter of the match with a 13-point lead (46-59, min 28).

Victorious

In the opening minutes of the final quarter, Herbalife tried to fight back but Barça Regal’s defence stood strong. Barça Regal saw their lead increase to 16 points with six minutes left on the clock. The final came with 62 to 84 on the scoreboard, Barça Regal had secured their seventh consecutive Liga Endesa final berth.

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MATCH FACTS

Herbalife Gran Canària, 62
FCB Regal, 84

Herbalife: Bellas (7), Toolson (10), Beirán (6), Báez (13) and Nelson (5) -starting five- Newley (12), Guerra (0), Alvarado (3), Oguchi (2), Slokar (4).

Barça Regal: Huertas (10), Navarro (10), Rabaseda (6), Wallace (2) and Tomic (8) -starting five- Lorbek (8), Sada (1), Mavrokefalidis (10), Ingles (12), Oleson (17), Todorovic (0).

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