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Rudy during the game. FOTO: ACBPHOTO

Barça Regal looked to be on course for a first win in the opening game of the Final Play Offs, but ended up on the wrong end off a 76-72 defeat to Real Madrid . Although they began the final quarter well ahead, Real Madrid clawed themselves back into contention, though but for a controversial personal foul against Sada with 5 seconds left to play, Barça could have grabbed a win at the death. The foul handed possession over to Madrid and the game was over – Barça somehow managing to lose a game they looked to have under control, but were finally unable to finish off.

Tentative start

Barça made an uncharacteristically tentative start and it needed a change from the bench to answer Real Madrid’s opening six points, with Huertas bringing them back into the match. However, it was three-pointer from Llull that ended the first quarter to give the hosts an early 21-14 lead.

Sada on form

Gradually, Barça Regal fought their way back though and with Lorbek on target, they began to close in on Madrid. Oleson chipped in and a three pointer from Sada put them into the lead for the first time (23-25). Sada then scored three more three pointers before the break and with Navarro also growing into the game, Barça scored 20 points to just 4 from Madrid to go ten up (35-45) at the break.

Pace drops but Barça keep lead

The pace of the game dropped in the third quarter, and though Real Madrid looked to get back into the game, their mistakes were costing them dear and the visitors twice took twelve point leads - at the start of the quarter after a Navarro basket and with a minute and a half left when an Ingles three pointer took the scores to 46-58. Madrid managed to score four straight points without reply and the teams went into the final quarter 50-58.

Madrid fight back

The tension was high now, as Madrid upped their aggression and after Tomic had stretched Barça’s lead to ten points again (55-65), Rudy Fernandez led the hosts on a dramatic comeback that saw them draw level at 65-65.

Controversy at the death

Navarro stepped into the breach with five points to give Barça a 65-70 lead before Sergio Rodríguez and Reyes again reeled the visitors in to take a 73-72 lead. Then came the controversy as the referees denied a foul on Sada and handed possession to Madrid, who killed the game off and ran out 76-72 winnners in the first of what promises to be an explosive series of games.

BOXSCORE

R. Madrid, 76
FCB Regal, 72

R. Madrid: Llull (19), Rudy Fernández (14), Suárez (0), Mirotic (5) i Begic (6) –cinc inicial-; Draper (0), Reyes (4), Rodríguez (21), Carroll (5), Slaughter (2)

Barça Regal: Huertas (10), Navarro (15), Rabaseda (0), Wallace (0) i Tomic (6) -cinc inicial-; Sada (17), Ingles (3), Mavrokefalidis (4), Oleson (9), Lorbek (8).

Parcials:21-14, 14-31, 15-13, 26-14

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