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Navarro, led Barça Lassa's scoring with 19 points / VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB

Barça will have to go back to Krasnodar after the Russians won game four of the Euroleague quarter final in overtime to take the game back home for a fifth and decisive game – a winner takes all tie where the prize will be a trip to Berlin for the Final Four.

The visitors coped handsomely with the pressure of a packed Palau and an inspired Navarro, but Barça managed to match them all the way. That was until overtime, when the Russians hit hard and levelled up what is proving to be fascinating quarter final series between two of the finest teams in Europe.

Locomotiv’s American trio of Randolph, Delaney and Singleton all made an impact right from the start, hitting Barça Lassa with some early threes. The home side, meanwhile, were missing the injured Dorsey, but benefitted from an in-form Perperoglou to keep things at 19-21 and then fire ahead to 25-21 at the start of the second period, all thanks to quick scores from Doellman and Abrines. It looked like the famous ‘Palau effect’ was in full force, but the Russians were having none of it, and had moved to five up by the interval 35-40).

Nerves and Navarro

Both sides came out nervy after the restart. The baskets suddenly seemed a whole lot smaller and the shooting lost its bite. Sheer cold blood maintained the Lokomotiv march, but they were never able to build up a decisive enough lead. At seven down, the Catalans hit straight back as the third period build up to a spectacular crescendo, with Navarro getting 7,000 people on their feet with a frightening three to make it 45-49. Samuels then levelled on 51 and another 3-pointer from Navarro had Barça back in front (54-51).

Delaney, Claver and Randolph got things going in Lokomotiv’s direction again, then a three from Perperoglou pulled it back to 65-67, but the errors started slipping their way into the Barça game, and the result was a worrying 65-71. Time out and reaction. A 2+1 for Tomic raised the decibel count in the Palau. Satroransky and Perperoglou failed key 3-point attempts, but Tomic and Navarro made sure they converted their frees. Janning and Randolph lacked the same accuracy and as the seconds ticked by, and then Navarro who took the endgame by its horns, going coast-to-coast and turning dramatically to bang home the leveller with 2.9 seconds left. This one was going into overtime!

Overtime blues

It needed one last push, but the intense game had worn Barça to the ground. Lokomotiv were much the fresher side going into OT, and they made that freshness tell. Randolph took his total up to 28 points, Janning did his bit too and Delaney coolly converted three free throws to suddenly establish a 12-point lead (80-92). The added period ended 4-16, and Barça never got a look-in.

But there will be one more chance. Now it’s time to re-gather their confidence and prepare for a trip back to Krasnodar. Not forgetting, of course, that before that there’s the Liga Endesa visit of Real Madrid on Sunday at 12.30pm CET.


HIGHLIGHTS BASKET (Euroleague): FC Barcelona... por fcbarcelona

MATCH STATS

FCB Lassa, 80
L.Kuban, 92

FC Barcelona Lassa: Navarro (19), Satoransky (10), Perperoglou (13), Doellman (9), Tomic (18) –starting five-, Ribas, Abrines (7), Samuels (4), Oleson, Arroyo, Vezenkov & Diagne.

Lokomotiv Kuban: Delaney (15), Randolph (28), Claver (17), Bykov (2) i  Broekhoff –starting five- Singleton (14), Draper (4), Janning (10), Kolyushkin, Balashov, Zubkov & Shukhovtcov.

Periods: 19-21/ 16-19 / 19-11 / 22-25 / 4-16.

Referees: Radovic, Ryzhyk & Jovcic.

Palau Blaugrana: 7,083 spectators


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