Barcelona arrive late against Anadolu Efes

Barcelona arrive late against Anadolu Efes

euroleague day 19

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Real Madrid ended the week of doubles in the Euroleague as sole leaders after Barcelona, ​​​​​​their closest rivals, lost in a magnificent duel to Anadolu Efes at the Palau Blaugrana (75-80). Ataman’s team has muscled with a win that sees them in a regular season so irregular for the current European champions capable of losing loudly to Valencia and overtaking one of their main rivals for the title two days later , brought to the playoff spots. The end result reflects an equalizer that only came into play in the final minutes where Barcelona came close to making an epic comeback but was abandoned halfway through the game.

In a duel between the two teams with the best outside play on the continent, Efes sewed Barcelona to the treble while the Catalans failed at the outside border like in their worst days. 7 out of 26 (26.9% accuracy) for Jasikevicius’ men compared to 14 out of 30 (46.7%) for the reigning champions. Laprovittola was the best reflection of Barca’s blackout from the outside with a zero out of five. The intensity in the back was also not what a game of this substance required. Barcelona made just one shooting error in the first three quarters of the game, which allowed the Efes players to go to the basket unopposed or get very comfortable shots. A gift for shooters of the stature of a Larkin or Micic who was having a blast scoring 34 points with nine triples combined.

The first few minutes were a preview of what was to come. 0-5, 0-7, 0-9… Efes flew and Barça was not on either side of the track. Jasikevicius’ head exploded and he took two timeouts very early on to try to get his team to react. But it had no effect. With just 9 points in the first quarter and 28 at the end of the first half, the Catalans seemed to be digging a grave they couldn’t get out of unless everything changed drastically. And they failed to do so early in the second half when Ataman’s men took their maximum advantage (+17, 43-60) after a stratospheric three from Micic.

Barca’s reaction came in the last 10 minutes as Higgins donned his hero mantle again. Like just two days ago against ASVEL, the American point guard pulled his team and managed to connect a previously enormously inaccurate Mirotic. Together they managed to make Barca fans dream of a comeback as the team closed the gap. But Efes knew how to deal with the nervousness of his rival, who decided to foul in the final minutes. With 12 seconds to go, Higgins scored a spectacular three point to save his team from a tie (75-78). But Efes kept his cool and secured victory with two free-kicks scored by Clyburn, avoiding the miracle at Palau.

Valencia matures and Baskonia stays cold

A decimated Valencia managed to return to the Euroleague after a perfect week that started with a win over Anadolu Efes at La Fonteta and culminated yesterday with another win in the visit of ASVEL Villeurbanne (79-83). With nine wins and ten losses, Alex Mumbrú’s side are just one win away from reaching the playoff places after a week in which the coach was only able to count on nine first-team players through injuries and had to complete the squad with players from the Subsidiary.

Forced to make the most of their short rotation, the Taronjas managed an awkward game against the Euroleague bottom team. ASVEL started in the dark and the devastated from Mumbrú in the first part with Prepelic, who now has more stripes than ever, as a conductor without having to look for the basket so much. At half-time, Valencia had a 15-point win (37-52) and felt defeat was on the horizon. But nothing can be taken for granted in Europe. ASVEL came back from the break a completely different side and quickly turned the deficit to take the lead for the first time since the game started (57-56). Dubljevic needed to multiply to stop the bleeding and everything was decided in a few final minutes of great tension. De Colo had extra time in his hands but things turned murky on the free-throw line and Valencia saved the vote.

One who couldn’t avoid another defeat was Baskonia, who remain in the playoffs thanks to a great first round but suffer three straight Euroleague defeats after losing to Partizan in Belgrade (83-65). Peñarroya’s men paid for their poor start to the game (29-17 at the end of the first quarter) and failed to lift that record. Marinkovic led his team (16 points) but was very much alone in goal, the only Baskonia player with double-digit points. Instead, Obradovic’s men had six players with 10 points or more and hardly suffered after opening the first gap.

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