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Justin Doellman in action against CSKA Moscow / EUROLEAGUE

We always knew that Barça were in a mightily strong Top 16 group, where absolutely anything could happen in every game, and the trip to CSKA Moscow was never going to be an easy one. The Russians took the spoils to the tune of a 93-82 victory and Barça’s record is now a negative 1-2.

The home side made the first five minutes count to move into an early 17-9 lead, largely based on threes. But Juan Carlos Navarro responded with some fine long shooting of his own and by the end the period the Blaugrana had edged into the lead at 28-29.

The Russians continued to score big from 6.75 metres when play resumed, but Samuels finally got things going for Barça on the paint to stop the deficit from getting too far out of hand (46-40). But Dimitrios Itoudis’ side was on electric form and yet more brilliance from the perimeter meant they went in at the break with a 54-46 lead.

3-pointers again the key

Barça needed points and they got them quick after the restart with a 0-7 streak led by Samuels and Tomic to get right back into the game at 54-53. But a Higgins inspired CSKA soon got back into their stride, and in a flash they were way back on top at 63 -55.

The Catalan bid also suffered a cruel blow when Navarro was ordered off following a second technical foul – a controversial decision that didn’t go down at all well in the Barça camp.

FC Barcelona just weren’t having any of the luck, and a 13-3 streak from the Muscovites seemed to have sealed them the win as they went 17 ahead (76-59).

Three consecutive threes from Abrines did a lot to renew hope among the visitors (80-70), and with the nerves setting into the home side, the same man came frustratingly close to bagging another three to get the gap down to seven. That let-off was just what CSKA needed to get their confidence back, and yet another 3-pointer at the other end of the court (number 14 of the evening for the home side) looked to have delivered the final blow.

Barça knew it was game over, but in awareness of how important basket average could be in such a competitive group, they kept battling to the end, eventually coming off court with a 93-82 loss to reflect on.


[HIGHLIGHTS] BASKET (Euroleague): CSKA Moscú... por fcbarcelona

MATCH STATS

CSKA Moscou: Kulaign (10), Fridzon (6), Nichols (3), Lazarev (6), Higgins(20)- starting five – Teodosic (16), Jackson, Vorontserich (16), Kurbanov (4) i Hines (12)

Barça Lassa: Tomic (3), Satoransky, Perperoglou (11), Navarro (16) i Doellman (14) – starting five – Lawal (4), Vezenkov (7), Samuels (9), Oleson (3), Abrines (12) i Ribas (3).

Periods: 28-29 / 26-17 / 22-13 / 17-23

Referees: Robert Lottermoser, Damir Javor & Piotr Pastusiak


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