Mavro, Sada, Oleson and Wallace after the second game. PHOTO: ACBPHOTO

Despite a host of problems, Barça Regal has managed to take the final to fifth and deciding game. A success in itself but nobody at a club like Barça can be satisfied to leave it there. At 10 pm on Wednesday evening, live on TV3 and TVE1, Xavi Pascual and his players could become the first team to win the Endesa League after losing the opening game of the final series.

So far the record books show that the winner of the opening game has gone on to lift the trophy. But history is there to be challenged and rewritten. And if there’s a team capable of doing just that it’s Barça Regal. Despite being without Pete Mickeal and Nathan Jawai, and with Navarro a serious doubt, Barça has always shown an ability to overcome any adversity to take on and beat the best.

Experience of beating Real Madrid

Barça Regal has a lot to build on in what has been an exciting and finely balanced final series. They have already tasted victory in Madrid – in the second game of the series - with two last gasp free throws from Brad Oleson and some magnificent defence from Joe Ingles (71-72) - they have also won two league titles against Real Madrid. One in the third game and another in the fifth.

League titles in the Spanish capital

The first of these came under coach Aíto in the fifth game of the 1996/1997 season when Barça beat Real Madrid 69-82, then coached by Zeljko Obradovic and with Dejan Bodiroga on court. A young Roberto Dueñas was chosen as MVP of the final.

The last time Barça clinched a league title in Madrid was in the 2000/01 season. With Pau Gasol as the outstanding player, Barça quickly disposed of Real Madrid 84-96 and the 3-0 series win clearly showed Barça’s dominance.

This Wednesday, the Barça Regal players know they can make history and will give 100%. The team’s competitive spirit and attitude has allowed them to reach a fifth game, and in a game of winner takes all their experience will count. And in this aspect, Barça Regal holds the trump cards.

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