Xavi Pascual gave Unicaja no chance in the first game of the ACB quarter final play offs and will have the chance to finish off the series on Saturday in Malaga.
REGAL FC BARCELONA, 76
UNICAJA MÀLAGA, 65
Regal FC Barcelona (16+21+21+18): Sada (7), Navarro (17), Anderson (6), Lorbek
(10), Vázquez (13) –STARTING FIVE-, Lakovic (2), Grimau, Morris (6), Ndong (7), Ingles (6)
and Ricky Rubio (2).
Unicaja Màlaga: Fitch (9), Blakney (8), Jiménez, Freeland (10), Archibald (6)
–STARTING FIVE- Sinanovic (6), Garbajosa (3), Rodríguez (8), Blanco (2), Tripkovic (13) and
Referees: De la Maza, Conde i Perea.
Venue: Palau Blaugrana. 4.327 spectators
There’s no room for error in a three match play off series and Regal Barça left no room for
mistakes as they took the first step to a semi final place with an eleven point win over Unicaja at
the Palau in a game they generally dominated despite some worrying moments in the first quarter.
Unicaja showed flashes of why they could still be a threat though, as players such as
Tripkovic stepped up to cover the poor performance of their star player Fitch (0 points at half
time and unable to score his first points till 29 minutes had gone by). The visitors worked hard to
keep up with Barça, but a five minute period at the start of the third quarter when they were
unable to score, allowed the hosts to settle and run out pretty comfortable winners.
The game started slowly, with Freeland showing his danger under the
basket and getting the first points, before Navarro struck with a three pointer to start a flurry
of nine points for Barça without reply. Unicaja fought back though and were soon level at 11-11.
The first quarter followed the same pattern, with Barça taking leads, but unable to stretch them
out and leave Unicaja behind. Two personal fouls put Navarro on the bench, but scores from Ingles
and Lakovic, as well as a great block from Anderson at the end of the quarter put Barça 16-12 up.
Things continued to go the same way in the second quarter with Ingles looking sharp and Fitch
and Freeland unable to get on the scoreboard, whilst Tripovic led the Unicaja resistance with 11
points that helped his team go in at half time still in touch(37-35).
Regal Barça up the pace
With Navarro back on court and Lorbek and Ndong working well under the
basket, Barça ran up nine quick points without reply at the start of the third quarter and Unicaja
were unable to get any points at all during the first five minutes of the half - a period that
settled the final result. Regal pushed on to 58-43 and the visitors scored just 8 points in the
half, with even Tripkovic failing to score.
Four quick points from the visitors forced Xavi Pascual to call a tiem out to settle his team
at the start of the final quarter and they pushed ahead to 68-51 and cruised to a win with top
scorer Navarro(17 points) applauded off the court.