Referees: Luigi Lamonica (ITA), Jakub Zamojski (POL) i Gianluca Mattioli (ITA).
Barça Regal came through their latest test with flying colours, breaking a run of 12 straight wins by the Greek team with an excellent victory in Athens that takes them a step closer to finishing first or second in the group to ensure home advantage in the quarter finals. Barça Regal overcame the current champions who played this game as if it were a final, backed by their enthusiastic home crowd and chalked up their ninth win in the Top 16, whilst leaving Olympiakos in third spot, three wins behind, with four games of this phase to go.
Tight start followed by dominant second quarter
Barça began the game with Sada, Navarro, Mickeal, Lorbek and Tomic on court and the presence of the Barça captain meant Olympiakos had keep a very close eye on the Euroleague’s top scorer- The game began with a quickfire exchange of scores between the two teams, with Spanoulis leading the Greeks and Pete Mickeal replying for Barça.
The scores were close at 20-17 at the end of the first quarter and although the hosts tried hard to take advantage of some early imprecision from Barça, Tomic imposed himself under the basket and Jasikevicius ensured that Barça took a 28-29 lead. Two three pointers from Marcelinho and Lorbek hit Olympiakos hard and when Navarro upped the pace, Barça surged to a 36-46 lead at the break after a magnificent 16-29 score in the second quarter.
To and fro ends in brilliant last quarter
Olympiakos then hit back and took a 55-54 lead, as Spanoulis, Printezis and Powell got amongst the points and a personal foul against Tomic lifted the atmosphere on court before two great blocks from Jawai marked a turning point which allowed Barça to go into the final 10 minutes a point up on 62-63 – a prelude to a brilliant last quarter.
With Mickeal and Lorbek on top of their game in attack and with Europe’s best defence strangling the Greeks’ attack, Barça showed that when things look most difficult , they are able to react and demonstrate their wining mentality. The team totally dominated the last quarter and finally enjoyed a significant 77-90 win after the weekend’s skip up against Caja Laboral and added another win to a great European record so far in this last 16.