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Papanikolaou, en una entrada a cistella. FOTO: V. SALGADO - FCB

The best European competition returned to the Palau Blaugrana this evening. It wasn’t a brilliant match, not the sort that makes you fall in love with the sport, but it did end with a victory for Barça and that’s what really matters. Little by little the team will grown and we’ll undoubtedly see the best version of Pascual’s team very soon. This Thursday, against Partizan Belgrade, the team battled through to claim a 67 to 60 victory in their debut match of the 2013/14 edition of the Euroleague.

Low-scoring match

The first 20 minutes of the match saw both teams test each other. The Serbian’s defence proved how good it is at the 2-3 zone frustrated the Balugrana, who scored 17 points in the first quarter and 11 in the second. The best piece of news, however, is that Pascual’s men can also defend quite well, an asset that no doubt allows the team to weather difficult phases of any match. Dorsey was the best Barça player in the first half.

Power and talent give Barça the win

In the second half FC Barcelona found more space thanks in part to the talented Papanikolaou and the power of Dorsey (31-26 and 43-38). Lampe added to the team’s advantage with two good shots but the Palau erupted when Navarro hit a three pointer in the fourth quarter. The captain’s shot put the score at 50 to 42, an important advantage seeing how the the match was going.

With the game nearly over, Abrines scored a three pointer and gave his team a 10-point advantage (56-46). Partizan, however, resorted to a 1-3-1 and fought back to within five points (59-54). But Pascual’s men weren’t about to give up their lead, and in the end, despite the Serbians’ fight back attempt, Barça won the match 67 to 60.

MATCH FACTS

FCB, 67
Partizan, 60

FC Barcelona: Huertas (10), Abrines (8), Papanikolaou (13), Lampe (6), Tomic (13) -starting five-; Dorsey (8), Sada (2), Navarro (4), Todorovic (2), Hezonja (-), Nachbar (1).

Partizan Nis Belgrad: Westermann (10), Mirosavljevic (15), Kinsey (4), Lauvergne (9), Musli (8) -starting five-; Dallo (-), Bogdanovic (8), Gagic (8), Bezbradica (-).

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