Regal FC Barcelona beat host CB L'Hospitalet 66-64 on Wednesday in the Ciutat de L’Hospitalet tournament to finish undefeated in the group stage. With a final 3-0 record, Barcelona won Group A and will play the semifinals Thursday against another local team, either Catalunya Occident Manresa or DKV Joventut depending on which of them wins their Group B matchup later Wednesday. Shooting guard Nacho Marin paced the winners with 14 points and small forward Daniel Martinez added 10, while power forward Vicente Santamatilde recorded 6 points and 10 rebounds. L’Hospitalet finishes the group stage winless at 0-3, despite strong contributions from point guard Fernando Cerqueira, who scored 14 points, bagged 6 steals and dished out 4 assists. Small forward Jose Luis Valencia added 13 points and shooting guard Xavi Llagostera 11. L'Hospitalet will play CB Cedevita Zagreb for seventh place on Thursday. L’Hospitalet surprised Barcelona with an aggressive 3-11 start thanks to a couple of three-pointers by Valencia, but Barcelona settled in and hit the boards to finish ahead in the quarter, 12-11. Point guard Bernat Camarassa joined Josep Perez in Barcelona's backcourt and showed good poise, though it was Marin who was feeling it in the first half, finishing with 12 points and countering Valencia's 3 triples with 2 of his own. The halftime score was 35-30 and Barcelona built on their lead with a defensive performance in the third quarter that forced 5 turnovers and limited L'Hospitalet to 9 points while they scored 17. L'Hospitalet kept patient on offense in the fourth quarter, however, and Cerqueira was able to shake loose for a triple to cut the lead to 52-45 with 8 minutes left. A beautiful alley-oop feed from Lluis Costa to Martinez put Barcelona again on top by double digits, 60-50. The pace quickened, and L’Hospitalet mustered 4 consecutive points to fuel a 2-8 run and make it a game at 62-58 with 1:29 to go. Costa came up big in the next possession with a deep three-pointer, but L’Hospitalet stormed back again with an Adrian Martinez layup and a Cerqueira three-point play to make it 65-64 with 20 seconds left. They had a chance to win it after Santamatilde split a pair of free throws, but Valencia's half-court buzzer-beater came up short.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011