Barça have slumped to defeat at the Palau Blaugrana in the third game, and the first at home, of their best-of-five Euroleague quarter final series. Anadolu Efes won by a clear 68-102 to go 2-1 in the series, meaning Barça will now need to win both remaining fixtures to secure a place in the Final Four.
A stunning Shane Larkin took 30 points for the visitors, while Barça’s best man Hanga had to settle for 13.
The Palau was ready for the occasion and deafening noise accompanied every Barça play, but it was the Turks who were producing the better early moves, and they led by six when the first period closed.
It looked like then blaugrana were crawling back into the game, but the Turkish offence only grew more lethal, going to +14 as the Palau begged its heroes to find more shooting accuracy to little avail. The 39-52 scoreline at the break merely reflected what had happened on the court. This was not Barça’s night.
An 8-0 streak soon had the Palau back on its feet. But with Larkin in inspired form, that proved to be a false awakening. With things standing at 57-84 going into the final ten minutes, this game was as good as lost.
Barça Lassa were but a spectre of what they had been in game two in Istanbul: neither shining in defence nor attack. It ended 68-102, and now Pesic and co will need to regroup and get right what they got wrong this evening when the sides go at it again on Friday at 9.00pm CET. A decider on the banks of the Bosporus can still be forced…
Barça Lassa: Heurtel (7), Blazic (3), Claver (2), Singleton (3), Tomic (11), Seraphin (6), Pangos (-), Ribas (6), Hanga (13), Smits (-), Oriola (5) & Kuric (12).
Anadolu Efes: Micic (14), Beaubois (7), Simon (11), Moerman (13), Dunston (10), Larkin (30), Balbay (-), Tibor Pleiss (14), James Anderson (3), Sanli (-) & Tuncer (-).
Periods: 8-15; 20-26; 27-36; 39-52 // 50-58; 57-84; 62-95; 68-102.
Referees: Christos Christodoulou, Sasa Pukl & Anne Panther.