Barça Regal claimed their seventh run on the trot in Europe with a 90-66 win over Lietuvos Rytas on the day the Palau paid homage to Juan Carlos Navarro, on the 15th anniversary of his debut for the team. There was a great atmosphere at the Palau and Navarro lived up to all the hype with a 24 point haul. Barça made a great start to the game, before the visitors fought back, but a decisive second half performance ensured the win for Xavi Pascual’s team which leaves them unbeaten and top of their group.
Tomic scored all seven points for Barça in the first three minutes (7-2) and in a fast paced start they raced to a 16-19 lead on 6 minutes . The hosts dominated under the baskets with Tomic and Lorbek causing all kind of problems despite Ivanov’s courage and with Navarro and Mickeal lethal from the exterior, they were 25-14 up after 8 minutes with a 90% effectiveness in their shooting.
Lietuvos strike back
With eight balls lost at the start of the second period, Lietuvos drew to within three points on 13 minutes (27-24), but Barça were pressuring the visitors into mistakes and Pascual used his bench to bolster his team. However, with a 15-27 score in the second period, Rytas actually moved ahead 39-41 on 19 minutes.
Big names dominant
Barça came out for the second half with a much tighter defence and as that put an end to the leaking of points, so their increased fluidity in attack kept the scoreboard ticking over. Pascual kept his big names on the court and Navarro, Mickeal, Lorbek and Tomic dominated the scoring, as they moved in front again (56-54, min 26). Lietuvos Rytas were proving to be a tough opponent though and didn’t lie down, but Barça’s confidence grew and they rounded off the third period with a three pointer from Huertas to make it 68-60 at the end of the third quarter.
Fourth quarter demolition
Two minutes into the last quarter, helped by big scores from Rabaseda and Jawai, Barça moved to their biggest lead 72-60 and the visitors seemed to run out of gas, scoring just 6 points in the final quarter. With the game safely won (82-64) and with four minutes left to play, Pascual brought off Navarro to a standing ovation to round off a memorable night for him.