Barça Regal claimed the third place of the Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul. This is the second time the Catalans have finished in third place, the first was in the 2009 Berlin Final Four
The Azulgranas broke their bad run of results in the Final Four against Panathinaikos. This is the first time the Catalans have claimed victory against the Greek side after being defeated in 1994 and 1996
Marcelinho Huertas, with 21 points and 3 assists, CJ Wallace, with 12 points and 4 rebounds, and Joe Ingles, with 13 points and 4 received fouls, were Barça’s most notable players
Panathinaikos, 69 FC Barcelona Regal, 74
Panathinaikos (20+17+15+17): Logan (11), Calathes (9), Smith (1), Perperoglou (2), Vougioukas (4) -starting five- Maric (13), Diamantidis (17), Kaimakoglou (6), Sato (-), Batiste (2) i Tsartsaris (4).
Referees: Ankarali (TUR), Lottermoser (GER) and Latisevs (LAT).
Without Navarro and Jasikevicius
Juan CarlosNavarro, who is dealing with an injury, didn’t play this Sunday at the Sinama Ardem. The ex-Barça player, Jasikevicius, who now plays for Panathinaikos, also didn’t feature in the third and fourth place match.
Before the third and fourth place match, Xavi Pascual said that he wanted his team to complete the match “with our style, it should serve us for this Thursday.” It was also a good opportunity to see players that don’t usually get a lot of playing time in action. Panathinaikos, for example, came out with Calaths, Logan, Perperoglu, Smith and Vougioukas. Both Pascual and Obradovic were focused on the playoffs of their respective leagues.
Marcelinho, first-half leader
Even though motivation for this match wasn’t optimal for either side, the players came out onto the Sinama Ardem court with the objective of getting back to winning ways. Marcelinho scored 11 points in 7 minutes, including with 2 three pointers, and he finished the half with 19 points. Before the end of the first quarter, however, Pascual made sure he gave playing time to all of his players.
The second quarter started off with both teams practically level on points (21-20). Diamantidis and Logan tried to keep the Greek side in the match, but Barça Regal’s spot-on accuracy from the perimeter allowed the Catalans to run away with the scoreline (37-48). Rabadeda, Wallace and an effective Marcelinho brought character to Barça’s play in a match that increased with intensity as the clock ticked down.
Difficult start to the second half
The Azulgranas struggled to score in the first four minutes of the second half. In fact, the only one was scored from a free throw taken by Ndong. This allowed the Greek side to cut into Barça’s lead (45-49). A three pointer from Wallace and two more from Ingles allowed Barça to close out the third quarter with a slight lead of six points (52-58).
Second top-three finish in Club history
The last quarter started off with a three pointer from Ingles, one of Barça’s most notable players this Sunday. In the final stretch of the match, with Barça leading by five (60-65), Eidson sunk a three-point shot to seal Barça’s top-three finish in Istanbul’s Final Four. Pascual’s team managed the end of the game well (69-74) and can now return to Barcelona having put the elimination at the hands of Olympiacos behind them.
Liga Endesa playoffs begin this Thursday
Barça Regal must focus on the fight for the Liga Endesa title. Barça’s unforgiving schedule dictates that the Catalans must play their first playoff match in four days. This Thursday, at 20:45, Pascual’s men, reigning champions of the ACB, will host Lucentum Alicante at the Palau in the first match of the quarter-final series.