Barça’s second unit condemned Casademont Zaragoza on Tuesday (76-63), very erratic from the 6.75 meter line with a 25% success rate, which led to the third consecutive defeat at the Palau Blaugrana Endesa League.
The Barça team, led by Pierre Oriola (10 points and 5 rebounds) and Nico Laprovittola (11 points), had enough to press the accelerator after the break to add the full of five victories in the ACB and position itself as a solo leader.
The success from the perimeter of the Catalans -9 triples of 23 attempts- ended the options of the Aragonese team, in which only Stan Okoye (14 points) and Jamel McLean (12) stood out in attack. So what the locals showed two very different faces in the first half. In the first ten minutes, they dominated the rebound, they were very accurate from the perimeter and tightened the nuts in defense with a coral basketball
Secondary players like Oriola shone, but Sanli’s three triples, who missed the entire second half suffering from ankle discomfort, Smits and Kuric in the last minutes penalized the good exterior work of Casademont like Mobley, Okoye and Radoncic. Barça faced the second act with the tranquility that they gave nine points of advantage (25-16), although the Aragonese team stood up.
Coinciding with the tribute at minute 16 from the Palau Blaugrana to Pau Gasol, that this Tuesday announced retirement as a professional gamer, Sarunas Jasikevicius’s pupils lowered their offensive performances.
The triples no longer entered, and from 33-23 in minute 14 it went to 33-31 one minute from the break. Javi García, from the 6.75 meter line, and McLean took advantage of the Barça disconnection. The locals breathed somewhat calmer with a triple from Calathes, who closed the second quarter with a very poor 11-15 and a 36-31 favorable to Barça at halftime.
After the restart, the defensive intensity of the Aragonese team continued to bother Barça (44-40, min.26), who did not find the fluidity in attack that he did glimpse in the first quarter. He was in command on the scoreboard (49-40, min, 28), yes, the Barça team thanks to Hayes’ exterior success and the claw of Pierre Oriola, which counteracted McLean’s interior appearance.
The losses in the last minutes of the third act threw the defensive effort of Jaume Ponsarnau’s team to the ground, who faced the last ten minutes with a deficit of 10 points (54-44).
Aware that in less than 48 hours his team will face Bayern Munich in the Euroleague, Jasikevicius gave prominence to secondary players like Laprovittola, Jokubaitis or Sergi Martínez. His bet worked out like a charm and, thanks to the triples from the Argentine and the Catalan, his team enjoyed an advantage of 15 points with seven minutes to go (62-47).
Ponsarnau called for a timeout, but his team did not react. Only Okoye showed his face in the last quarter, something that Barça took advantage of to sign a partial 14-2 (68-49, min.35) and savor a placid victory.
76 – Barça (25 + 11 + 18 + 22): Calathes (5), Hayes (11), Higgins (6), Mirotic (6), Oriola (10) -starting five-, Sanli (7), Martínez (3), Smits (7), Laprovittola (11), Kuric (3), Jokubaitis (6) and Caicedo (1).
63 – Casademont Zaragoza (16 + 15 + 13 + 19): Sipahi (-), Mobley (4), Okoye (14), Vilà (7), Vanwinj (2) -starting five-, San Miguel (4), McLean (12), Radoncic (10), Waczynski (3) , Font (-), Hinason (4) and García (3).
Referees: Emilio Pérez Pizarro, Javier Torres and Cristóbal Sánchez. Without eliminated.
Incidents: Advance match of the sixth day of the Endesa League played at the Palau Blaugrana before 2,284 spectators. In minute 16, the game was stopped to give an ovation to Pau Gasol, who this Tuesday announced his retirement from professional basketball.