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Barça were victorious on Sunday at home to Surne Bilbao in a game that the visitors were desperate to win in order to secure a place in the Copa del Rey. And the Basques managed to cut their way into a big Barça lead to leave the outcome uncertain until the very end, but Jasikevicius' side managed to keep control of things and ended up taking the spoils.
The Barça scoring was led by Laprovittola (20), Nnaji (16) and Jokubaitis (14). But the man of the moment was Dame Sarr who at just 16 years, 7 months and 18 days has become the second youngest player ever to appear for the Barça basketball team.
Nikola Mirotic was outstanding early doors, scoring all nine opening points for Barça, and with an 18-11 lead at the end of the first period, everything was going to plan.
In the second period, the standout figure was Argentine Nico Laprovittola. Four consecutive 3-pointers helped build up a +15 lead that seemed definitive enough.
And in the third quarter, the outstanding man in the Barça ranks was Nigerian Nnaji and his 11 points in that period alone. It felt like party time in the Palau Blaugrana, and yet the Basques were quietly collecting points here and there and suddenly the gap wasn't quite as wide as perhaps it felt.
And Bilbao continued to score in the final period. Seizing a moment of calm in the home ranks, they cut the difference down to just six. The endgame wasn't going to be quite as comfortable as we'd thought.
But Barça made sure of the victory, and can now turn their attention to the EuroLeague showdown with Real Madrid at the Wizink Centre on Thursday at 8.45pm CET.
Barça: Kalinic (-), Satoransky (6), Laprovittola (20), Mirotic (9), Nnaji (16), Da Silva (-), Paulí (-), Sanli (6), Abrines (9), Kuric (8), Jokubaitis (14), Dame Sarr (-)
Bilbao: Smith (16), Hakanson (8), Sulejmanovic (9), Rabaseda (4), Kyser (4), Withey (5), Radicevic (8), Andersson (4), Reyes (11), Alfonso (9, Ubal (-), Rosa (-).
Periods: 18-11, 29-18 // 16-26, 25-23
Referees: Juan Carlos García González, Alberto Baena, Héctor Baez.
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