Pascual during the Cup Final PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

The Barça Regal players have started their holidays. Despite falling at the last hurdle of the Endesa League, it’s been a very successful season and both players and coaches can be satisfied with the team’s achievements. Barça Regal has won two trophies, the Catalan league and the Spanish Cup. In Europe, they reached the Final Four while in the Spanish league they took the final play-offs to a thrilling fifth-game decider.

Upward progression

As coach Xavi Pascual predicted during the pre-season preparations in Andorra, the team has improved gradually over the season. Despite losing the opening two league games, Barça Regal improved week by week and refused to allow the occasional setback to affect their competitiveness.

Injury nightmare

There have been plenty of injury problems as you would expect over an 84-game season. However, the impact has been unusually high due to a series of unlucky circumstances, such as the case of Pete Mickeal or Nate Jawai’s injury just before the Final Four – he played through the pain in London and then had an operation immediately afterwards.

To this we have to add the fractured index finger of Todorovic, the fitness problems of Navarro and Lorbek and the broken rib of Jasikevicius during the play-offs. In the face of all these problems the team did really well to take the best Real Madrid team in recent years to a fifth game in the final play-offs.

Competitive spirit second to none

The team’s fighting spirit and ability to step up a notch in the big games has been recognised across Europe. Opponents have underestimated the heart and determination of Barça Regal to their peril – a perfect example being the Cup Final in Vitoria, when Pascual’s players beat Real Madrid in the quarterfinals after two periods of extra time and went on to dispose of Laboral Kutxa in the semi-finals and Valencia Basket in the final.

While it hasn’t been one of the basketball section’s best seasons in terms of trophies, it’s been a great year as regards the progress of some of the young newcomers such as Todorovic and Abrines. Coach Xavi Pascual will continue at the helm in 2013/14 for a seventh season.

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