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25.04.2010 13:20

Regal Barça out in front (84-74)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barça moved clear at the top of the Liga ACB after a ten-point victory over Unicaja Málaga on Saturday evening in the Palau Blaugrana.

Fran Vázquez was the star of the show as he netted 20 points and earned a rating of 30 to push the Blaugrana to win two of teh four quarters and clinch the victory that has edged them further ahead of Real Madrid. The fans took their time taking their seats as they headed across to the arena having seen the football team beat Xerez in Camp Nou.

Great start

A strong start laid the foundations for the home team as Barça moved into a 5-0 leaed thanks to two points from Pete Mickael and a triple from Juan Carlos navarro. That lead was extended to nine points, 20-11, in a first quarter that saw Vázquez score ten while there were loud cheers as Navarro leapt to sink an alley oop. Having looked very comfortable the hosts then let their guard down slightly as Unicaja closed in and scored late points to close the gap to just four at 27-23.

2010-04-24_FCB_REGAL_-_UNICAJA_016.jpgUnicaja continued to raise their game at the start of the second period and were just one point behind, 32-31, when Barça rediscovered their form and began to add points to the board. Ricky Rubio stood out while Navarro was hitting the target. That combination was enough to see Barça lead 50-37 and that was an advantage that was going to prove to be crucial as the second half did not go in the hosts' favour.

Holding on

Vázquez continued to score regularly after the half-time break though and the home team were 20 points clear, 61-41, before seeing their form drop off. Unicaja changed their tactics and Barça were unable to match them in the same way that they had done until then. The Andalucian-based visitors were pressed back and that saw them net just 17 points while their visitors managed to win their first quarter of the game as they recorded 20 of their own.

The final period was to be exciting but also became about Barça stopping Unicaja from having any thoughts that they could pull themselves back into the encounter. Vázquez added his last few points to take his tally to 20 while Rubio totalled 15 and Navarro 13. The win means that the Catalan outfit are now out in front at the top of the table and can look ahead to another home game, against Bizkaia Bilbao Basket, on Thursday.
Regal Barça out in front (84-74)

Regal FC Barcelona: Ricky, Navarro, Morris, Lorbek, Mickeal –starting team-, Barton, Vázquez, Ndong, Sada, Grimau

Unicaja: Rodríguez, Printezis, Freeland, Blanco, Cook –starting team-, Dowdell, Welsh, Jiménez, Neal, Rubio, Archibald

Quarters: 27-23; 23-14; 17-20; 17-17

Referees: Xavier Amorós, Benjamín Jiménez, Carlos Javier García

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