Euroleague working day 1


Anadolu Efes

Anadolu Efes
Jan Vesely (right) and Oscar da Silva (c) try to block Derek Willis
Jan Vesely (right) and Oscar da Silva (c) try to block Derek Willis.Enric Fontcuberta (EFE)

Barcelona began its European journey with a great victory against an Anadolu Efes that deflated at the beginning of the last quarter. An intense and even game was expected until the end, but the performance of Hernangómez (18) and Laprovittola (13 points and 8 assists), and the defensive solidity were responsible for giving peace to Roger Grimau’s doubtful start on the bench. Meanwhile, the Turkish team, double Euroleague champions in 2021 and 2022, is carrying out a reconstruction process similar to the Blaugrana, now without Ergin Ataman, the controversial coach who always lit up the Palau, and without one of its best players, Vasilije Micic, heading to the NBA. The always dangerous Larkin continues, however (16 points).

With a different squad than the one that lost in the semifinals of the Final Four against Madrid, without Jasikevicius in charge or Mirotic as a star, the goals of the culé team are no longer the same. From being a clear contender for the title, with three Final Fours in a row, to drastically reducing its budget due to the entity’s economic situation. Sanli, Tobey, Kuric and Sergi Martínez also left. In exchange, Dario Brizuela, Jabari Parker, Joel Parra and Willy Hernangómez arrived. With the recent defeat against Madrid in the League, Barcelona had no choice but to react if they did not want to see doubts begin to arrive.

Barcelona started hesitant in defense, conceding offensive rebounds, and was very hasty in attack, with four turnovers. Larkin, with six assists in eight minutes, easily found his teammates in a high-tempo game. The speed of the first quarter was frenetic and there was no respite for the players to settle on the court. The culés, led by Laprovittola, read the fast play of the Turks, preventing them from going ahead on the scoreboard and even finishing the first quarter three points ahead (22-19).

The second quarter began with the European premieres of Brizuela, Parker, Parra and Willy Hernangómez. All of them were noticed because Willy made his debut with a basket, additional shot and block. Parker also blocked and Brizuela scored layups and three-pointers. Grimau’s second unit put Barca nine points ahead. He called timeout Erdem Cam, which allowed the Turks to take a breather. It suited them well because in the blink of an eye, and a couple of flashes from Larkin, they reduced the gap to two points. The Ottomans became alert in attack, but they remained soft in defense and the culés took advantage of it to go 40-34 at halftime.

The first half made it clear that the game was going to be decided by the defenses and Efes had to improve it if they wanted to win. Aware of this, the Turks increased the intensity and tied the score (44-44) and found Tyrique Jones in the paint, with six points at the beginning of the third quarter. He wouldn’t be the only one on a roll because Hernangómez wanted to silence the criticism with 16 points (six of six on field goals). Laprovittola accompanied him in attack and the Catalans showed the best version of him against a calmer Palau, but which did not take long to turn on.

The duel went to the final quarter with the Blaugrana five ahead. Grimau asked for calm, but Brizuela did his thing and gave a luxury assist to Parker, who had his first score in the Euroleague, and the lead reached nine points with an Efes stuck in attack. He showtime de Brizuela followed with another blind assist to Parker, who was becoming strong in the zone (10 points) and the Barça lead reached 13 points with six minutes remaining. Efes threw in the towel, minus Larkin, and Roger Grimau’s team took the first victory in the Euroleague debut thanks to a great defense and an effective attack.

Barcelona, ​​91 – Efes, 74

FC Barcelona: Da Silva (4), Kalinic (4), Laprovittola (13), Satoransky (8), Vesely (16) – starting five- Abrines (7), Brizuela (7), Hernangómez (18), Jokubaitis (4), Nnaki , Parker (10) and Parra (0).

Anadolu Efes: Larkin (16), Thompson (2), Willis (8), Yilmaz (3), Zizic (9) – Beaubois (4), Bryant (10), Clyburn (7), Hollatz (0), Jones (9). 10), Osmani (0) and Pleiss (5).

Partials: 22-19; 18-15; 29-30 y 22-10

Referees: Sreten Radovic (Croatia), Mehdi Difallah (France), Milivoje Jovcic (Serbia)

Palau Blaugrana 5,577 spectators

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By Jane Austen

Jane Austen is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that resonate with readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, Ganesan has contributed to the media landscape for over a decade, covering a diverse range of topics including politics, technology, culture, and human interest stories.