FC Barcelona failed to retain their 2008 Copa del Rey title conquered in Altea. Barça lost the final against Ciudad Real (31-30).
Things started well in Zaragoza for Manolo Cadenas and his team (34-37). Host club CAI were first
up and we only really saw the best of CAI Aragón in the final minutes when they were desperate not
to go out of their own competition at the first stage and caused some serious problems for FC
Barcelona. Venio Losert posted a first class display and it was mainly thanks to his saves that
Barça came out of the first game unscathed.
Portland make going tough
Next up was in form Portland San Antonio. The Navarrans were keen to use Zaragoza as the place they could make up for other disappointments during the season, but it wasn’t to be. The side from Pamplona lost (29-31) to Barça in an extremely tight encounter. In the 17th minute, Malmagro put his team ahead for the first time. Iker Romero scored goals 12 and 13, and the half ended in favour of the Catalans.
The second half offered much of the same. Ivano Balic’s injury towards the end of the game was a cruel blow for Portland. FC Barcelona took advantage of his absence to seal their place in the grand final.
A cruel final
Ciudad Real were the opposition in the deciding match, and the side from La Mancha went onto the court in a defiant mood, but Barça held their ground and prevented Ciudad Real from going too far ahead. But the side coached by Talan Dusjebaiev always had the slight edge, and matters were helped no end by a terrific goalkeeping display by Sterbik.
After holding a three or four goal difference, FC Barcelona suddenly came into their own at the Pabellón Príncipe Felipe. Albert Rocas tied the game on 26 and then again on 27. The game was wide open, and Romero made it 30-30 in the last minute, and overtime was looming. But with just a second left, a free throw from Jonas Kallman pierced the Barça net and Ciudad Real were able to celebrate victory.