Regal FCB wins NIJT L’Hospitalet
Regal FC Barcelona finished off a perfect run to the title at the Ciutat de L’Hospitalet Tournament with a 95-90 victory over archrival Real Madrid in the final. The trio of Josep Perez, Aitor Gomez and Lluis Costa shined bright to carry Barca to the title. Perez dominated with 32 points and 6 steals, Gomez recorded 23 points and 9 rebounds and Costa had 18 points and 7 assists. The winners now advanced to the Nike International Junior Tournament at the 2011 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in May. Barcelona beat Madrid for the second time in the event – they also dueled on the first day of the tourney. Barca led from start to finish as Costa scored the game’s first 8 points. Madrid never stopped fighting and made a valiant late charge, but came up short. Daniel Diez had a big game in defeat with 28 points and 10 rebounds, Placide Nakidjim added 16 and 9, Arturo Cruz scored 14 and Francisco Jimenez scored 12. Madrid won three of its five games at L’Hospitalet, losing only to Bacrelona.
Costa came out on fire for Barcelona with a pair of three-pointers and the game’s first 8 points. Guillermo Hernan-Gomez scored Madrid’s first basket on the offensive glass and Nakidjim soon helped narrow the gap to 12-8. But there was no answer for Costa, who followed a steal and layup with another basket before Perez nailed a triple for a 21-8 advantage. Strong play inside by Nakidjim proved to be Madrid’s only real weapon as Costa scored his 14th point and then dished to Daniel Martinez to make it 28-16 after 10 minutes. Gomez put Barca up 14 at the start of the second quarter, however Diez started heating up for Madrid. A layup and a pair of triples from the Madrid forward made it 32-24. A duel between Perez and Diez developed, with both carrying their teams on their shoulders. Cruz chimed in with two threes for Madrid, but Perez kept Barca safely ahead. Diez clawed Madrid back within 47-42 before triples from Vicente Santamatilde and Perez lifted Barca to a 53-44 halftime lead.
The teams traded scores early in the second half and a triple from Jimenez put Madrid within 58-53. Perez responded to save Barca with a basket and then a steal and assists to Oriol Pauli as the lead blossomed to double figures again. A basket-plus-foul by Gomez lifted Barcelona to 67-55. Carlos Padilla and Jorge Sanchez tried to ignite something for Madrid, but Barcelona got key plays and points from Perez and Costa to remain in control 77-65 through three quarters. A Gomez slam on the offensive glass lifted Barca to a 14-point lead. Diez connected from downtown and Sanchez added a layup as Madrid tried for one last comeback, but Perez came through again with a dagger from downtown. Diez and Nakidjim managed to get Madrid back within 9 and soon Cruz hit a three to get it even closer. A Nakidjim free throw put the score at 83-77. Barca managed to fend Madrid off as Perez and Marin made free throws, though a Jimenez triple put the pressure on at 91-87. Diez nailed another three to get within 93-90, but it was too late and Gomez finished off the game and tournament with a slam.
Thursday, January 6, 2011