Samardo Samuels posted a fine performance on Friday / VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB

FC Barcelona Lassa, boosted by some terrific home support, beat Žalgiris Kaunas 92-86 on Friday night to reach the halfway stage in their Top 16 group in fifth place with a 3-4 record.

The game also marked Xavi Pascual’s 200th Euroleague game as Barça head coach, in which he can boast an impressive 153-47 overall record. When the Copa del Rey is over, Barça have another home European fixture, this time against Olympiacos (3-4).

Tonight’s game began with the defences getting the upper hand and very little in the way of 3-pointers. The man of the moment was Vougioukas for the Lithuanians, who scored eight consecutive points to throw his side into a strong early lead of 4-12. Pascual called timeout, and Navarro stepped up to swing Barça right back into things (11-14), with a Doellman three finishing off the job in the first period (16-19).

Big improvement

Barça Lassa finally got the hang of the rebounds in the second period, and an Oleson three at last got them into the lead (25-23). Another three, this time from Abrines, stretched the difference (29-23) and it was full steam ahead from there, with the half ending 38-31.

Žalgiris came out lively after the break, but some big scoring from Abrines, Doellman and Ribas extended Barça’s lead into double figures for the first time (50-37). Intense Lithuanian defending prevented the charge from causing even greater damage, but a Navarro finally had the Palau on its feet and Kaunas calling for timeout (58-45).

Experience shows

There was a difference of ten (65-55) as the game moved into the final period, which Barça Lassa approached with a mix of optimism and caution, knowing that they were up against a side that is just as needy of wins as they are.

Pascual went for experience right until the end, and Navarro, Perperoglou and Doellman didn’t let him down. A 2+1 from the Greek star, a three from the captain and a block from the American all contributed to a 71-57 lead that was culminated by an All-Star calibre slam-dunk from Satoransky. That was game over.

Tomic was fouled out, but by that time it was just a case of watching the clock tick down. The Palau Blaugrana was already celebrating and thoughts could already start turning to Sunday’s league game at home to Sevilla, followed by the Copa del Rey in Galicia next weekend.

[HIGHLIGHTS] BASKET (Euroleague): FC Barcelona... by fcbarcelona


FCB Lassa (16+22+27+27): Doellman (7), Navarro (14), Satoransky (10), Samuels (11), Perperoglou (7) –starting five-, Ribas (13), Lawal (5), Abrines (12), Vezenkov (2), Eriksson (-), Oleson (5), Tomic (6).

Zalgiris Kaunas (19+12+24+31): Seibutis (19), Jankunas (11), Vougioukas (14), Vecvagars (3), Ulanovas (17) –starting five-, Vene (0), Lekavicius (16), Pocius (2), Motum (0), Sajus (4), Hanlan (0)

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