Barça have sealed qualification for the Final Four of the Liga Endesa as group winners with a game in hand after beating Retabet Bilbao Basket (73-85) in a tight encounter that wasn’t decided until the very end. Oriola led the scoring with 23 points, with Adam Hanga also shining with 12 assists.
The first period saw both sides squander chances, but Barça stayed alive with 3-pointers and turnovers to score on the counter without every building up a meaningful lead (16-19).
A Brandon Davies score looked to have sparked Barça into action but instead Bilbao went on a stunning 15-0 rampage to go seven points clear. Barça needed to tighten things, and they did, and it was as good as level at the break (33-34)
Davies, Tomic and Oriola led a 9-0 streak that spring Barça into their first sizable lead (41-48), but Bilbao were still able to muster a strong response and were still in contention going into the final quarter (56-61).
But Barça started steamrolling in the final ten minutes. Bilbao managed to react to cut the difference back to single figures, but by this stage this was always going to be a Barça victory and whatever happens against Iberostar Tenerife, a semi final place is already secure.
Bilbao Basket, 73
Bilbao Basket: Rousselle (11), Rigo (7), Serron (8), Cruz (3), Balvin (9), Rodríguez (9), Martínez (5), Ruiz (-), Sulejmanovic (11) & Lammers (10).
Barça: Hanga (2), Higgins (12), Claver (-), Oriola (23), Tomic (13), Smits (-), Heurtel (8), Abrines (6), Kuric (7) & Davies (14).
Periods: 16-19 / 33-34 / 56-61 / 73-85