The Barça he had to work until the penultimate day, and leave every last drop of sweat on the pitch, to guarantee himself the first position in the Euroleague at the end of the regular season. He had two chances this week to get it. And, after failing on the court ofl Maccabi Tel Aviv, he got it the second time, this Friday on the field of Fenerbahce, one of the rivals in the noble zone of the competition, whom he beat 73-82, beating him with his defensive work, his dominance of the rebound and his outside success (12 triples, with a 44% accuracy). Brandon davies, with 13 points and 9 rebounds, was the best Barcelona player, although Kuric (16 points), Mirotic (12 and 6 bounces) and a solvent Westermann (9 points, 4 rebounds) also excelled.
“We have been very solid between the third and fourth periods. They only got us 30 points in the second half. We are a team that builds everything from defense “, valued the Barça coach Jasikevicius, visibly satisfied.
🎥 HIGHLIGHTS @FBBasketball 73-82 Barça 🎥
✌️GREAT team game finale to bring us home victory!
🙌Leaders already expect a rival in the Playoffs🙌 pic.twitter.com/YbnM8rLGxQ
– Barça Basket (@FCBbasket) April 2, 2021
Kuric he was the one who carried the weight of the Catalans in the first quarter. There are days when the Pennsylvania escort goes almost unnoticed. As if it were another secondary. And others, in which he is unstoppable and seems capable of scoring any ball that reaches him. In Estambul, Kuric appeared illuminated. He scored 14 points before the break, the four triples he tried, and dragged his teammates, who were very successful from the triple line.
The enormous outside punch that Barça showed in Turkey dismantled the initial approach of the Fenerbahce. The team of Igor Kokoskov began setting the pace under the direction of Of lap, imposed his inner dominance and took advantage of the inspiration of Guduric, was able to break through quickly (20-13, m. 7). The irruption of Kuric in a lethal plan he turned the script enormously. Also the injury of Vesely, a possible ankle sprain, which took him to the locker room in the first half and no longer allowed him to return to the match, limited the power of the Turkish team.
Westermann vindicates himself
All the defensive problems that the Barça team showed in the first half, conceding some easy baskets, managed to cover them with a great resolutive capacity attacking the ring of the Fenerbahce, with protagonism of Claver, Higgins and also Calathes and important appearances of Westermann, very decisive in front of his former teammates, with whom he started the season before they decided to cut it, which allowed his arrival at the Palau (42-47, m. 20).
😍 Enjoy @westermann_leosweet return to Istanbul 😍
🔮High performance in all aspects pic.twitter.com/VuP1BuqRtc
– Barça Basket (@FCBbasket) April 2, 2021
That dynamic changed on the restart. The two teams shifted the weight of the game towards defense. The game thickened and, at times, hardened more than necessary between two teams determined to mark territory on the way to the ‘play-off’. In that scenario, Davies, Claver and Hanga They rose above the others and gave the Catalans a plus. They are the players who set the bar for toughness in Jasikevicius’ schemes and with their work, the Barça He regained his most competitive image, sealed the third quarter already in advantage (58-62) and laid the foundations of a victory that seals the leadership and does justice to the work of the regular season. With a pending day, and waiting for the ‘play-offs’, only the moment of the debut of Pau Gasol, that on his Twitter he left a significant message, dressed in the game shirt and an hourglass, making it clear that his moment is approaching. Everything indicates that next Friday, in front of the Bayern Munich, you will have your chance.
The Madrid, meanwhile, beat the Olympiacos by 72-63, with 18 points of Platform and 15 of Tavares and keeps his options open until the last day, in which he will play on the field of Fenerbahce. With a win in Berlin (86-90), the Valencia also aspires to one of the two vacancies, for which the Baskonia and the Zenit Saint Petersburg from Xavi Pascual.
Fenerbahce: De Colo (12), Guduric (19), Mahmutoglu (3), Duveriouglu (-), Vesely (2) -initial five- Brown (2), O’Quinn (17), Biberovic (-), Pierre (10 )), Barthel (5), Sipahi (-), Eddie (3).
7 of 17 triples (Peter, 2). 21 rebounds, 9 offensive (Barthel, 6 years old), 15 assists (From Colo, 6)
FC Barcelona: Calathes (5), Higgins (9), Abrines (4), Mirotic (12), Orihuela (2) -starting five- Davies (12), Estermann (9), Hanga (5), Bolmaro (-), Smits (4), Kuric (16), Claver (3).
12 of 27 triples (Kuric, 4), 36 rebounds, 19 offensive (Davies, 9 years old), 21 assists (Calathes, Westermann, 4)
Partial: 25-26; 17-21; 16-15; 15-20
So goes l2nd classification of the Euroleague
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.