Real Madrid Basketball edged out Regal FC Barcelona 78-74 Wednesday evening to move even higher above los culés in the Spanish Liga ACB. Madrid began the season with high expectations, as they acquired the services of two NBA players due to the much-maligned lockout: semi-flameout Rudy Fernández (then of the Dallas Mavericks, now with the Denver Nuggets), and up-and-coming star Serge Ibaka (of the Oklahoma City Thunder). Rudy and Ibaka sparked Real Madrid, but returned to the NBA after only a month of play in Spain.
Madrid looked very strong tonight against Barcelona (a team they've had some trouble with recently--remind you of anything), and jumped out to a big lead thanks to star Jaycee Carroll's pinpoint perimeter play. Barcelona was without NBA flameout turned ACB superstar Juan Carlos Navarro (who's suffering from plantar fasciitis, a terribly painful, annoying condition that really only goes away with surgery or a month or so of rest--which makes it an impossibly aggravating basketball injury, just ask Sacramento King's third-year guard Tyreke Evans for example).
In addition to Carroll (a new addition at the beginning of the season), Ante Tomic, Madrid's 7 foot center, was aggressive all night, scoring 16 points, and grabbing 8 rebounds. He has been criticized in the past for shrinking in big games, especially against Barcelona, and it was really exciting to see him step up tonight.
As always, look out for Lucas' Real Madrid Basketball recap; for all your Real Madrid (and Managing Madrid!) news, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our (soon to return) podcast on iTunes!