The European rehabilitation of Barcelona will happen to forget your first trip. The beating that gave him the CSKA was tremendous (95-75) and punished the instability of the game azulgrana. Pesic, overwhelmed by the low of his team in the second quarter, changed schemes and, after the break, dispensed with the team captain Ante Tomic.
CSKA Moscow: Hackett (7), De Colo (17), Kurbanov (6), Peters (0), Hunter (6) – initial team-; Ukhov (1), Antonov (0), Sergio Rodríguez (12), Vorontsevich (7), Clyburn (13), Higgins (18) and Hines (8).
Barcelona Lassa: Heurtel (2), Pau Ribas (0), Claver (4), Singleton (7), Tomic (6) – initial team-; Séraphin (6), Pangos (2), Blazic (11), Smits (7), Oriola (4), Pustovyi (8), Kuric (15).
Partial: 21-17, 30-12, 18-29 and 26-17.
Referees: Lottermoser, Boltauzer and Rossi.
Megasport Arena of Moscow. 12,023 spectators. First day of the Euroleague.
Moscow still has too far sport and geographically to Barcelona. And above, the aeronautical avatars extended their trip to the Russian capital four and a half hours. A setback that added more negative data to a backpack in which the process of adaptation of the six players who debuted with Barca in the European competition.
The irregularity of Pesic's team ran parallel to the performances of Singleton, in the first half was a shadow of what is expected of him. Pustovyi and Kuric were very short in that first round. Pangos and Blazic barely appeared and Smits remained on the bench while his team was beaten: 55-29 after the break. It was an eternity, but if the mission was already of substance for Barcelona, it became much more than an 'Everest'.
Precisely that half a dozen players who just have a couple of months of Barca were the ones who led the best minutes of his team, in the third quarter. Pesic rectified many of the rotations. On the shoulders of Kuric (15 points) and Pustovyi (8 points) and with notable contributions from Blazic (11 points) and Smits (7 points), Barcelona came to stand at 11 points (69-58). But Barcelona had already lost the train and for the talented and experienced CSKA players it was not too difficult to manage their dominance in the game and on the scoreboard, in which they recovered 20 domain points, 84-64, with five minutes to go. .
Barça had already shown symptoms of its insufficient competitiveness in the Supercopa and the Catalan League. In Moscow, in front of one of the best teams, the game started very spirited, with a huge physical display and a pressure on the whole track that got him a steal and forced a field back from CSKA and a foul on Kurbanov's attack , who also committed the second shortly after. CSKA took three and a half minutes to score their first basket, thanks to Hines. Despite this, the score was very tight, among other things because Barcelona crashed again and again against the Muscovite defense.
Itoudis, the Greek coach of CSKA, gave entrance to the second unit and between Vorontsevich, Sergio Rodriguez (12 points and four assists), Higgins (18 points and five rebounds) and Clyburn (13 points, nine rebounds and four assists) fired the CSKA scoreboard. The takeoff was spectacular. Barcelona burst on all sides, almost always overcome in the one against one, and very punished for its poor defensive transition.
The torrential game of CSKA also took ahead to Heurtel, although it ended with 12 assists, but with four losses and only 5 points. And Tomic, one of the few who had a good level in the early stages, added his third personal foul in just 15 minutes. Séraphin, who recovers after a long convalescence, provided baskets and rebounds, but insufficient to compensate for the unguarded defensive. The second quarter was almost final: 30-12. Tomic did not play again after the break.
Moscow meant a new nightmare for a Barça that does not manage to raise its head in the Euroleague, a competition in which its last two disastrous seasons still sting.