Sunday, June 20

A Higgins basket in the last second leads Barça to their eighth European final


The Barça is closer to his dream. One more step. Installed at the end of the Euroleague, the eighth of its history in which it will meet the mighty Anadolu efes. A basket in the last second of Cory Higgins decided an agonizing semifinal against the Armani Milan for 84-82, that the Catalans lived on the edge of the precipice for many minutes. The team of Jasikevicius however, he showed character and reacted after a thick second half, very discreet in defense, in which the Italians made things very difficult for them. Mirotic, With 21 points and a PIR of 28, he made up for his discreet quarter-final play-off and was the most decisive player, but the joy of qualifying was clouded by the ankle injury of Calathes in the last quarter, which could prevent him from being on Sunday.

Just as described Al Pacino In the sporting battles that the cinema portrayed in ‘Any Sunday’, the semifinal was a battle won inch by inch, play by play, with Barça very focused in the first half, but disengaged after the break, which made him suffer until the last second.

The stars pulled chevrons and rescued the Barça in an extreme situation. Mirotic it was decisive. Calathes he gave a splendid performance until his injury. Gasoline gave strength to the team in a great first half and the specific contributions of men like Bolmaro, Kuric and above all Higgins they allowed it to prevail.

Defensive problems

It cost Barça a lot to drown the Milan offensive. The Armani, left over from decisive players, was inspired by Chacho Rodríguez, from Micov, Shields, and above all of Player, a real headache for the Barcelona defense, which resulted in an immense match, but failed in the last action, a triple in the last attack, which would surely have condemned the Barcelona fans.

The box Messina already managed to withstand the intensity and physical deployment of his rival in the first half in which the Barça He took the initiative, controlled the rebound and got comfortable shooting positions, to accumulate advantages that reached 11 points, although they were not enough to disconnect Armani, who resisted the blow at halftime (51-42).

The stage became much more complicated for the Catalans when they returned from the changing rooms. The team was disconnected in attack and the Armani entered a very positive dynamic thanks to the involvement of Micov and Panter, responsible for returning the semifinal to a balanced stage. Moreover, the blackout of Barça in attack, with only eight points in seven minutes, gave way to the first advantages for the team of Messina (59-67, c. 27).

Heads or tails scenario

The fight for the rebound was also balanced, with the Barça team losing ground in aggressiveness under the hoops, and also Barça found itself with an additional problem, the fourth fouls of two key pieces such as Abrines and Higgins, which forced Jasikevicius to reserve them on the bench. So the stage went completely out of the Barça script, although Calathes, With his prominence in the third quarter, pulling the team when the ball burned, he prevented the scenario from becoming more worrisome (67-71, m. 30).

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The Armani Milan he had brought the game to the most favorable stage. To a heads or tails. But Barça showed its spirit of resilience, hooked on Mirotic, a Calathes until his injury and in the last actions to Higgins, the player who, after the error of PlayerHe ran the whole field with determination and scored the basket that will give the Catalans the option to return to the top of Europe.

FC Barcelona, ​​84 -Armani Milan, 82

FC Barcelona: Calathes (17), Higgins (11), Abrines (6), Mirotic (21) Davies (2) -starting five- Hanga (2), Bolmaro (4), Smits (3), Gasol (10), Orihuela (- ), Kuric (8), Claver (-)

8 of 20 triples (Abrines, Gasol, Calathes, 2), 30 rebounds, 13 offensive (Mirotic), 14 assists (Calathes, 6)

Armani Milan: Delaney (9), Shields (13), Micov (14), Leday (8), Hines (4) -starting five- Punter (23), Roll (-), Rodríguez (11), Tarcewski (-), Brooks ( -), Evans (-), Datome (-).

11 of 23 triples (Micov, 4 years old) 36 rebounds, 18 offensive (Delaney, 7 years old), 15 assists (Delaney, 4 years old)

Partial: 27-24; 24-18; 1629; 17-11




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