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News article on: Basketball

Navarro MVP
One of the architects of a great season was Juan Carlos Navarro. Back with Barša after a season with the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, Navarro decided to accept Barša’s offer to lead the team for the next five seasons. He beat the record of 650 three-pointers in the ACB and was named MVP in the Euroleague. And then, to put the cherry on the cake he was voted MVP in the ACB league, taking over from TAU’s Pete Mickeal. Felipe Reyes was named MVP in the regular phase.

From disappointment to glory

As Daniel Santiago said in his comments after winning the ACB league, the team had always been just a step away from winning a number of trophies, such as the Cup and the Euroleague. But the ACB was different.

The FC Barcelona basketball section went through five long years without winning a trophy, ending the drought in 2009 with the ACB league. But it wasn’t an easy season and was made even more difficult when a number of doubts were expressed at the beginning of the season about the viability of the new project. A combination of good work in the Club offices together with the decisions on the bench finally proved that the approach had been correct and now looks set to generate success for some time to come.

A preseason with ups and downs

The first titles up for grabs were the Catalan League and the Super Cup. In the final of the Catalan League, DKV Joventut beat Regal Barša 83 - 95 while in the Super Cup Barša slipped to a narrow 73-70 defeat against TAU.

The first victory in the ACB league against DKV Joventut by 95 to 77 coincided with the arrival of the last new recruit, Daniel Santiago. As the months passed, Barša climbed the table until reaching second place behind an unbeatable TAU.

TAU superior in the Cup

TAU showed their splendid form in the Kings Cup played in Madrid. Barša beat Real Madrid in the quarterfinals 83-75 but in the semi-finals Regal Barša lost to Baskonia 77-90 in a game illuminated by the 44 points shared by Splitter and Rakocevic.

The Euroleague

Despite this setback, Xavi Pascual’s players continued to improve and produce more and more attractive basketball as the season progressed. From the first opponent, SLUC Nancy, to Panathinaikos, who they beat both at home and away, they put together a run of victories that took them into the Top 16 of the European tournament.

This wave of success continued into the Top 16 where they came up against some tough opposition in the form of Maccabi and Real Madrid. Despite the first defeat in Vistalegre, the team bounced back with vital wins such as the one in Tel Aviv (74-90). Barša hadn’t won in Tel Aviv for 18 years.

Destiny brought TAU and Regal Barša together again in the quarterfinals but this time Barša booked their ticket to the Final Four in Berlin with a 3-2 win over their bitter rivals. However, Barša lost to CSKA Moscow 78-82 in the semi-finals but took the consolation prize of third place with a comfortable 79-95 win over Olympiakos.

The league, a dream fulfilled

The team’s wonderful performances over the season - their entertaining basketball delighted the fans in the Palau -.deserved a reward and it turned out to be the last tournament to be decided – the ACB league.

Once again, TAU was the team to beat. After dismissing Pamesa in the quarterfinals (2-0) and Unicaja in the semis (2-1), the club from Vitoria came up against Barša. But this time, after TAU’s elimination in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague, it was going to be a different affair.

The first game went to Barša (80-82) and was the key to recovering the home advantage. In the end, five years after winning their last trophy, Regal FC Barcelona, sent the Palau fans delirious with a 3-1 series win.


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