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Rice (14 points) led the Barcelona scoring | PACO LARGO-FCB

Barça Lassa lost the opening game of their best-of-three quarter final series on Saturday to an opponent that was simply more effective. València Basket dominated the game from start to finish, and despite much intensity from the Catalans to try to get back in contention, the gap just seemed to get wider and wider.

Barça will now need to win on Thursday at the Palau (8.00pm CET) if they are to force a third game, back in Valencia, and stay in the play-offs.

Things were still all square at 12-12, with Rice taking six consecutive points, but it was a 5-0 streak at the start of the second period where things started going wrong. A Diop 3-pointer suddenly had Valencia winning by eleven and an even more devastating 10-0 streak meant the first half ended with a worrying 41-26 on the scoreboard.

Barça lost 12 balls in the first 30 minutes, and the home side punished them for it, cruising away to to 63-41, and no matter what Barça tried, there was no cutting that margin down and it all ended in a disappointing 83-61.

MATCH STATS

València Basket, 83
FC Barcelona, 61

FCB Lassa: Rice (14), Oleson (5), Eriksson (2), Claver (9) & Tomic (4) –starting five–, Vezenkov (2), Peno (1), Diagné, Koponen (10), Renfroe (5), Perperoglou (9).

València Basket: Diot (10), Dubljevic (16), Martínez (11), San Emeterio (6) & Sikma (9) –starting five–, Thomas (9), Sato (2), Vives, Oriola (11), Sastre (9), Kravtsov.

Periods: 15-15 / 26-11 / 22-15 / 20-20

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