Barça Lassa fought hard and got the reward with a huge 89-67 win against Maccabi in the Euroleague on Thursday night, a game that will also be remembered for honouring the amazing 20th anniversary of Juan Carlos Navarro’s first team debut.
The game itself got off to a slow start, with neither side getting into their scoring rhythm, but a 12-4 streak in the second period saw Barça fly into a lead that was as high as 34-15 by the quarter hour.
The Israelis had a mountain to climb and the Catalans were adamant that they weren’t even going to make an assault on the foothills. By the break, they still led by twenty at 44-24.
There was more intensity from the visitors when the play resumed, but Barça were outstanding on defence and a slam-dunk from Seraphin followed by a three from Sanders made it 51-26. No chance of a comeback from there.
Maccabi kept pressing, but for the home side it was just a case of holding onto their massive lead. With Sanders setting a personal best with six 3-pointers they did a fine job of that and the biggest cheers of all were reserved for the 35th minute when Navarro took to the court to a standing ovation.
The man of the moment lived up to the occasion with a trademark ‘bomb’ in the final seconds, by which time the Israelis had managed to save some face but never came close to threatening a comfortable home win.
It leaves Barça 4-5 and mid table in regular Euroleague season play.