FC Barcelona lead 1-0 after game one of their Euroleague quarter final series against Olympiacos. Fine defence was the key to a 73-57 win in which Justin Doellman was welcomed back into action.
The Greeks took the early lead, 3-6, but had slumped to 14-6 by the ninth minute and would not lead the game again. They went seven minutes without scoring a single point as FC Barcelona dominated in defence and rebounds, and were strong in offence too. A slam-dunk from Huertas sent the Palau wild and the home fans prepared for what promised to be a wonderful evening of hoops.
Nachbar added another slam-dunk early in the second period to make it 25-10, but it was precisely after this that Olympiacos finally found their A-game. They started chipping away at the home side’s lead, getting it down to ten, with Barça getting severely punished by the foul count, but still leading 35-26 at the break.
Two back-to-back threes from Satoransky and Navarro, who totalled 11 points between them in the third period, led the Barça charge after the restart, while Olympiacos were failing to convert their shots and were soon trailing 48-32. Pascual’s side was in fine control of the play, but the period was frankly disappointing in terms of the quality of the play.
But the Palau had no reason to panic. There were few worries as the clock ticked down, and Tomic was in particular to be thanked for ensuring that the difference never dropped below double figures. Two 3-pointers from Nachbar meant that 61-42 with six minutes to play was a lead that the Greek side was never going to cut down. The only bad news was Oleson hobbling off the court with an injury, while a 73-57 win was the best possible start to the best-of-five series.