For the legend of Barça de Jasikevicius, the demonstration of faith and character that he made in front of him will remain in time. Unics Boiler in the Euroleague. It was a tremendous victory started in extra time (111-109) against an opponent who had it in their hands and let it escape. A marker against 20 points It was the starting point of a historic comeback by Jasikevicius’ team, the ninth in a row in European competition, which allows them to reinforce their leadership. The victory was accompanied by a record for Barça for the best first round (15 wins, 2 losses) in the history of the tournament.
The Barça night featured countless protagonists, impossible to understand in any other way such a radical turn of script as the one that took place at the Palau, the story almost impossible. Mirotic (28 points) and Kuric (24) shot with pride but Jokubaitis, Exum and Laprovittola They will also add to the list of heroes for the stands in a night of unleashed emotions.
Hezonja’s eight points in the first two minutes were the best example of the commitment of Unics, a team that is experiencing a moment of overwhelming confidence. Perasovic has assembled a group of physically powerful players, with plenty of energy and who, in addition, have a lot of offensive talent, such as the Croatian forward, who built at the Palau the beginning of his career for three years, but also like John Brown, a nightmare for defense.
The speed in transitions, the aggressiveness in the game and the defensive activity propelled Unics from the first minutes. Barça was able to keep up with him in the first quarter (27-28), turned into an exchange of passionate blows between the two. The Catalans managed to reduce the attack damage of the Russians, but offensively they became entangled and only added a dozen points. Limited as it is in rotations due to casualties (Calathes, Higgins, Abrines, Hayes, Sergi Martínez), Jasikevicius’ team was losing intensity and concentration, accumulating losses and allowing easy counterattacks by Unics that ended up widening the Russian team’s advantage at halftime (37-46).
At the edge of the abyss
The picture became even more complicated with a partial 2-9 in the resumption, which further triggered the differences in favor of Unics until the 16 points (39-55). The bad feelings did not leave Barça, who saw how all their attempts had a quick response from the Russian team, which came into the last quarter with a 20-point margin (57-77). But, looking into the abyss, Barça showed a colossal faith and character.
With the leadership of Mirotic, to the success of Kuric and Laprovittola, And as they step in front of Exum, the Barça team was filing differences voraciously before the disbelief of the Palau fans, involved in a roller coaster of sensations, which even more raised an ugly gesture from Canaan, shutting up the stands after a triple. The result of the Barcelona charge was an astonishing 37-20 partial in the last period that gave way to extra time with three final free throws by Mirotic and a victory that will remain in the memory.
111- Barça (27+10+20+37+17): Laprovittola (12), Exum (13), Mirotic (28), Davies (2), Orihuela (4) -initial team-, Sanli (5), Smits (8), Kuric (24), Jokubaitis (15) and Caicedo (-).
109- Win Unics (28+18+28+20+15): Lorenzo Brown (27), Hezonja (18), John Brown (21), Uzinskii (3), Vorontsevich (2) -starting team-, Spissu (2), Canaan (20), Brantley (-), Jekiri (10) and May (6).
Referees: Damir Javor (ESL), Mehdi Difallah (FRA) and Rain Peerandi (EST). They eliminated by five fouls the local Mirotic, Laprovittola and Jokubaitis, and the visitors Hezonja and Jekiri. Visiting coach Velimir Perasovic was called a technical foul (min.23).
Incidents: Meeting of the seventeenth day of the Euroleague played at the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona before 4,863 spectators.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.