Navarro against Hettsheimeir

Navarro against Hettsheimeir / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO

FC Barcelona were defeated this Sunday afternoon at the Palau Blaugrana by Unicaja (67 to 74). This is the team’s third defeat in the league, and the first defeat at home. The 16 overturns and poor accuracy from the three point line (3/12) condemned Xavi Pascual’s team to defeat.

Navarro and Nachbar set the pace

It only took Barça three minutes to establish itself on the court. Navarro nailed a three point shot as Barça started off with brilliant, quick and decisive play. The Blaugrana surged to an 11 to 2 run, which forced the Malaga manager, Joan Plaza, to call timeout. The following minutes saw Unicaja react and cut into the home team’s lead despite the efforts of Navarro and Nachbar. Two three pointers from Calloway at the end of the first quarter brought Unicaja within three points of the Blaugrana (20-17).

Minutes for Lorbek; Barça struggle 

Unicaja displayed their best form in the beginning of the second quarter, and they took the lead. Xavi Pascual sent in Lampe and Lorbek, both of whom made their first appearance in the league after a six month hiatus. The Malaga-based team continued to dominate, and after a basket from Sergi Vidal, they took an 11-point lead (32-43, minute 19). In the final seconds of the half, a 2+1 from Tomic and a basket from Papanikolau brought Barça within striking distance (37-43).

Victory up for grabs in the second half

Barça were better in the third quarter. Navarro and Nachbar brought the team closer to the lead, and, with the assistance of Papanikolau and Tomic, Barça equalised (47-47). But, once again, Unicaja, through Kuzminskas and Carner-Medley, jumped to a 0-10 run. Pascual sent out Navarro and Tomic to lead Barça’s reaction, and, despite the fact that the Barça captain scored four consecutive points, the team were unable to come within striking distance of Unicaja by the end of the third quarter (55-63).

Barça’s chance to claim the win

Pascual’s men tried to fight back quickly in the final quarter, but shots from Marcelinho, Navarro and Papanikolau didn’t find their mark. This forced Pascual to call timeout, and he switched the team’s defence to a 2-3 zone. Barça managed to come within three points of Unicaja with two minutes left on the clock, but two erroneous free throws from Navarro and two turnovers from Papanikolau and Huertas condemned Barça to defeat.


FC Barcelona, 67

Unicaja, 74

FCB: Huertas (2), Navarro (20), Papanikolaou (10), Nachbar (8) and Tomic (16) -starting five-; Pullen (0), Sada (0), Abrines (2),Todorovic (0), Lorbek (0), Lampe (7) and Dorsey (2)

Unicaja: Granger (8), Vidal (4), Suárez (3), Sabonis (3) and Vázquez (10), -starting five-; Calloway (9), Urtasun (6), Stimac (10), Kuzminskas (9), Hettsheimeir (0) and Caner-Medley (12)

Referees: José Antonio Martín Bertrán, Carlos Cortés Rey and Jorge Martínez Fernández

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