Euroleague: Breath of air for Barcelona after beating Bayern | Basketball | Sports


Euroleague working day 32

B. Munich


Kalinic and Ibaka fight for the ball in the Bayern-Barcelona duel.ANNA SZILAGYI (EFE)

The setbacks they suffered last week against two direct rivals, Fenerbahçe and Panathinaikos, left Barça groggy and knocked out, also on the forward, a thin wire that can mean a lot, since from second they went to fourth place, just one step of being left out of the noble zone and losing the home court factor in the qualifying rounds playoffs. The rival was Laso’s Bayern, a team that he destroyed with a 39-point victory in the first round match, then in its infancy and now with notable losses such as centers Booker and Brankovic, as well as guard Obst. But Barça, which in Europe does not work far from the Palau – having had six wins and nine defeats to date – did not have it all. And although they enjoyed a placid duel (they had a lead of 22 points) and life became complicated in a forgettable last quarter, Grimau’s team did enough to beat Bayern (79-87) and screw themselves into the elite , now that he has to face Maccabi, fighting for the direct position of playoffs and not play-in and with Asvel, which is the penultimate.

As if the two recent slaps weighed on the heads and wrists of the Barça players, the team’s start was a horror offensively. Failure by Vesely from his favorite mid-distance position, loss of Laprovittola, grotesque error by Satoransky under the rim after gaining the position and blocks for Vesely and Kalinic from an Ibaka who imposed his law. But the Barça team understood that in the absence of skill they had to apply intensity, a physical exercise that Bayern did not dislike and that resulted in their condemnation, because from there, with their physique and quick transitions, Barça became great : Vesely scored two dunks; Satoransky and Laprovittola defined themselves from the periphery; and Kalinic gave a clinic How to overcome your rival with your body. Welcome Barça, seasoned by the suggestive and magnetic connection of Ricky Rubio with Willy Hernangómez; a prologue to smile (19-25) with only Lucic and Ibaka determined to dictate the opposite, Bayern’s nails to hold on to.

Barça is an unpredictable team, which can upset even the most painted team and which can shiver in the face of a mindundi, who has basketball and a bench, who has everything with the arrival of Ricky Rubio, but he lacks consistency and knowing how to govern the games, prolong the moments of lucidity, impose his character. No one better than Parker to explain the disconnections, a fabulous player who, when he has the afternoon, no one can stop him, but who sometimes seems to be in Chicago for a barbecue or who knows. In Germany, in any case, he had one of those nights of Showat least in the second act, well shielded by the inspiration of Brizuela – who asks for more prominence in each match – and the rebounds of Hernangómez, which served to destroy a Bayern that left at the intermission with its head down (30- 47).

Bayern then took refuge in Ibaka, capable of making Barça tremble at times, a version that recalled past times, one of those in which he left his mark on the NBA and the national team. But with him alone, in addition to specific flashes (like Weiler-Babb from the outskirts), it was not enough for the German team, which with any setback sank, reproaches and bad faces, sometimes even apathy to the despair of a Laso who He did not resign from the technical area. More than anything because losing meant saying goodbye to the European season. Thus, a little more from Parker, some from Laprovittola and successive appearances from Vesely were enough for Barça to finally play a carefree match, without demands or rushes, comfortable as it could be. Therefore, they faced the last chapter with a 19-point lead. Everything seemed done. But with this Barça you never know, as Bayern got within eight points (72-80), supported by Weiler-Babb and Ibaka, also by Sylvain Francisco who always grows in key moments. Moments of Barça hesitation, of shrugging of shoulders and arms, of the ring becoming grotesquely smaller. But just as the duel began, Barça pulled on physicality, defense and determination, and with that it was enough to close the duel and, in the process, take a gigantic breath of air in the Euroleague. Even more so if you look at the table, as Olympiacos beat Partizan and is still just one away from snatching the place while waiting for Fenerbahçe, who is two behind but this Friday they will face Alba Berlin.

Baskonia, for its part, was not able to say a word against Anadolu Efes (97-76) and its existence in the play-in, now only one win ahead of the pursuers (Efes themselves) and two from Partizan, Zalgiris and Olympia Milano. Always in tow, the team fell apart in the third act (53-77), a terrible blow for Dusko Ivanovic’s team, which looks with more than just suspicion at the brief calendar that is to come, as it will go to WiZink to beat the meet Madrid, the leader of the leaders, and finally visit Virtus Bologna, a direct rival in their fight.

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