Barcelona, Real Madrid At A Disadvantage

28 May 2012

DOMESTIC LEAGUES

Mirza Teletovic, Caja Laboral
Mirza Teletovic andĀ  Caja Laboral surprised Real Madrid in Game 1 in the Spanish capitalĀ 

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid normally take center stage when it comes to sports in Spain.

But in the Liga Endesa (Spanish league) play-offs, Caja Laboral Baskonia and Valencia Basket have jumped into the spotlight by claiming road wins in the best-of-five play-off semi-finals.

Both series are knotted at 1-1, with Caja Laboral having prevailed 81-71 win in Game 1 at Madrid.

Pablo Laso's men hit back to win Game 2 on Saturday, 73-64.

In the other semi-final, Barca thrashed Valencia Basket 84-57 in Game 1 but Velimir Perasovic's side stunned the regular-season winners at the Palau Blaugrana on Sunday, 81-76.

While Baskonia host Game 3 on Tuesday against Madrid, Valencia are at home on Wednesday against Barca.

Pablo Laso, the Real Madrid coach, said: "We are going (to Vitoria) with the feeling that we should play our best basketball.

"Caja Laboral has a great team and very experienced players. It knows how to defend us.

"We know that to eliminate them is going to be very complicated.

"They are playing very well and on top of that, they will be at home.

"We have to go game by game. It's impossible to think beyond Tuesday's game."

Madrid haven't had the services of Nikola Mirotic in the first two clashes due to injury and he is likely to miss Game 3.

Barcelona scored the first nine points of their game against Valencia Basket but with Juan Carlos Navarro, who is nursing an injury, connecting on just one of his eight shots from the floor, they ended up falling by five points.

Rafa Martinez drilled four of his seven shots from behind the arc and finished with a game-high 18 points and Nando De Colo poured in 16 before fouling out.

Valencia also got a lift from their big men, Vitor Faverani and AJ Ogilvy.

The former made six of his eight shots from the field and scored 15 points while the latter shot five of six and finished with 13.

"We must be cautious and play well to beat Barcelona at home," Perasovic said.

 


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