The Palau Blaugrana and Barça welcome in the new home season with a big-name visitor in Partizan Belgrade. The game (21.00 / Esport3 and Cala Plus Deportes) gives fans a great chance to assess the new-look FCB against a Serbian side that pushed them hard last season both at the Palau and the Pionir.
FC Barcelona finding their feet
Barça come into the game after a narrow victory over Valencia Basket in the domestic championship (76-75). The team is still warming up its engines as the new signings adapt to the team, while Juan Carlos Navarro, who returned in the Catalan League Final, also needs time to get back into his stride after several months out with an ankle injury. ‘La Bomba’ played 16 minutes against Valencia and needs to avoid over-forcing things with such a long season ahead.
Erazem Lorbek is back in training, but is still taking things easy, and it is uncertain whether he’ll be ready in time for the match. And Brad Oleson is still recovering from a fractured fibula. However, it seems that Àlex Abrines is making good progress with the hematoma in his right calf sustained in the Supercup, as is Victor Sada, with a rib injury.
Partizan Belgrade is one of those sides that never gives up, as they showed last season at the Palau, where they kept clawing their way back and eventually only lost by three (85-82). Their oldest player, Tarence Kinsey, is only 29, and the next in the list is Dragan Milosavijevic, just 24 – making for a very young squad indeed.
Another man to look out for is Leo Westremann. The French 21-year-old is a wonderful playmaker, and has scouts from several major clubs keeping careful track of his progress. Davis Bertans, meanwhile, is injured and likely to sit out at least the first third of the season.
Dusko Vujosevic, the man who works such wonders with the club’s youth system, is still in charge.