Barça Lassa gave all they could and more against CSKA Moscow on Friday evening but ended up toppling to a 92-78 defeat as the Russians got the better of the last five minutes. It was never going to be easy playing away to the regular season leaders, and the result leaves the Catalans 4-6 in the Euroleague table.
The home side were in the driving seat early on but Moerman and Heurtel combined in a 4-10 streak to put the blaugrana momentarily ahead (15-16) and the first period ended all square at 24-24.
The second period was just as tight, and a Koponen three sent the visitors into the lead (31-34), but a Russian 10-2 soon reversed that situation (41-36). But a terrific offensive rebound followed by a slam-dunk, all from Seraphin, meant things were all to be decided at the break (44-39).
Barça Lassa promptly pulled level (48-48), but it was then that CSKA found the gas and with a series of spectacular 3-pointers they build up the biggest lead thus far (66-58).
Barça again found a response, and things were level pegging at 72-72 going into the final five.
But it was then that key chances started going begging for Barça, while the Russians found their A-game just when it mattered most, powering off on a 13-0 spree that as good as secured the win.
All the earlier good work came undone, but the 14-point difference at the end of this intense encounter was a cruel reflection of what had really happened on court. There were many positives for Sito Alonso to take out of this performance despite the way it ended.