ANDhe BAXI Manresa starred in the biggest surprise of the preseason and beat a Barça that started as favorites 81-70.

The Catalans quickly took the initiative on the scoreboard. The only exception at the beginning of the match was a minimum 5-4 in favor of BAXI Manresa after a basket by Sylvain Francisco.

The triples of Nikola Mirotic and Nicolás Laprovittola and a greater defensive tenacity drove the Catalans who obtained five points of performance (7-12).

The local fans were very involved in the game and protested the actions with which they did not agree. Francisco led the reaction attempt of his team that even had the option to tie.

Again, the launch of three points smiled more at the Catalans. Kuric and Hayes’ 3s weighed more than Thomasson’s to make it 16-21 at the end of the first 10 minutes.

Barça seemed to want to break the final with the production of Roland Smits. They soon reached ten rental points (20-30). Those of the Bages were faithful to their character and thanks to Sima, Valtonen and Bako they tightened the marker.

The Belgian took advantage of a free kick after a technique to Mirotic to tie the game. The Spanish-Montenegrin received the same sanction that his coach had suffered shortly before.

In total, the referees indicated four techniques in a first half that ended with a minimum 36-37 favorable to Barça.

The Catalans wanted to open a gap after the break. But the BAXI Manresa continued to be very warrior.

All the actions of Barcelona were answered by those of Bages spurred on by a hobby that added temperature to the already hot night in Manresa.

Despite the attempts of Pedro Martínez’s men, it was Sarunas Jasikevicus’ who managed to finish the third quarter ahead (53-56).

The two technicians kept moving their benches to reach the final phase of the match with maximum guarantees.

The turning point came when the Manresans achieved an income of more than one point for the first time (66-63). From this moment on, the Catalans were in tow and were very erratic.

The greatest success of BAXI Manresa and the control in the defensive rebound were decisive for the Manresa team to win the match and join the Catalan League for the third time in its history (81-70).

Ismael Bako was named MVP of the final thanks to his 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Data sheet:

BAXI MANRESA (16 + 20 + 17 + 28): Dani Pérez (1), Joe Thomasson (14), Elias Valtonen (3), Luke Maye (2), Ismael Bako (18) – starting five – Sylvain Francisco (13), Dani Garcia (2), Rafa Martínez (1) , Guillem Jou (11), Chima Moneke (1), Elias Valtonen (3), Yankuba Sima (15) and Marcis Steinbergs (0)

BARÇA (21 + 16 + 19 + 14): Nick Calathes (13), Cory Higgins (4), Alex Abrines (0), Ibou Badji (0), Nikola Mirotic (10) -starting five- Brandon Davies (8), Sergi Martínez (1), Roland Smits (14) , Nigel Hayes (6), Nicolás Laprovittola (3), Kyle Kuric (9) and Rokas Jokubaitis (2).

Referees: Óscar Perea, Juan de Dios Oyón and Arnau Padrós.

Incidents: match corresponding to the final of the Catalan League

Via Marca.com