ACB photo

In the repeat of the last year’s Liga Endesa Final, Real Madrid and Barcelona collided once again, and if this is the tone set for the series, we are in for a treat.

And in a highly contested Game 1 Real was able to edge Barcelona 78-72 despite a great effort from Mario Hezonja who was the only one in double figures for Barca with 18 points.

Real led 27-20 after the first quarter through good play of Sergio Rodriguez who had eight assists in the game. Madrid moves the ball a lot better, but the rest of the game was more of a contest. Rudy Fernandez hit a three to give the hosts 47-38 lead just before the halftime as he also led them in this game with 17 points.

Real also played tough defense at the rim as one of the highlights of the game was a huge block on Ante Tomić from both Salah Mejri and Andres Nocioni.

Madrid entered the last 3:15 with a seven-point lead. Hosts were never able to pull away entirely as Hezonja nailed a tough three to cut the lead down to four. They even got the lead down to only two, but Rodrigez and Fernandez were able to close the game easily in the end.

Game 2 will be played on Sunday as the Catalan side will try to steal a game in Madrid before series heads to Barcelona.