Samardo Samuels, with 23 points and an evaluation of 33, led the way for Barça / VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB

FC Barcelona Lassa had to fight to the end of defeat Stelmet Zielona Gora in a competitive match on Friday evening. Samardo Samuels (making his debut at the Palau) and Shane Lawal were outstanding with six blocks each as the game ended 78-72.

The night didn’t get off to the best of starts. Zielona pounced on some sloppy errors from the home side to fly into a 2-12 lead. Barça needed to set things straight quickly, and Satoransky did just that as he led the side back to 19-20 by the end of the period with Pau Ribas also contributing two moments of particular class.

An Abrines three after the restart got Barça ahead for the first time, and from there they really got into their swing. Soon there was a ten-point difference between the sides once again, but this time in favour of FCB (33-23). The home defence limited Zielona to just one point in five minutes, but the Poles managed to recover their scoring edge to get things back to 38-35. The half ended with a Vezenkov three to leave things at 43-37.

See-saw action

It was the intimidating partnership of Samuels and Lawal that stood out in the third period, and that pair were largely to thank for getting the lead back up to 48-37. But failed long shots and frees were to blame as the Poles fought their way back into contention at 53-51. Barça then bit back with 3-pointers from Arroyo and Navarro and it looked like we were in for a comfy ride to the end. But that would not be the case at all.

Barça could have sentenced the match but they didn’t. Zielona were let back in, and a 0-9 streak suddenly had them back in the lead (66-68). The tension then started getting to both teams, but Barça managed to keep their cool just that little bit more and a Lawal slam-dunk followed by a triple from Satoransky finally sealed the win. It all ended 78-72.


FFCB Lassa: Navarro (10), Satoransky (10), Vezenkov (3), Perperoglou (8), Tomic (5) –starting five-, Ribas (3), Lawal (7), Abrines (3), Samuels (23), Oleson (-), Arroyo (6),

S. Zielona Gora: Reynolds (5), Moldoveanu (14), Ponitka (15), Borovnjak (15), Koszarek (5) –starting five-, Bost (5), Szewczyk (7), Gruszecki (-), Hrycaniuk (2), Zamojski (-), Djurisic (4).

Periods: 19-20 / 24-17 / 21-20 /14-15.

Referees: Christos Christodoulou, Petri Mantyla, Tomislav Hordov.

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