Having come so close to title glory last season, falling in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game against Anadolu Efes Istanbul, FC Barcelona will be aiming to go one better this time around. Head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius has restocked his roster with a batch of talented new signings and it promises to be another exciting season for the Blaugrana.
FULL TEAM SCHEDULE
Round 11: Proving a point against ASVEL
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne might not appear to be the most obvious direct rival for FC Barcelona, but Sarunas Jasikevicius and his players will have something to prove when they head to France in November because ASVEL succeeded in beating Barca not once, but twice last season. Both of those results were explained by ASVEL’s success in limiting Barca’s offensive efficiency, with the Catalans held to less than 70 points in 80-68 and 69-76 losses. Jasikevicius will be eager to ensure that history is not repeated as he locks horns with TJ Parker again.
Round 14: ‘Clasico’ calling
Every Clasico is special and really does not need any added spice, but this season’s first meeting between Barca and archrival Real Madrid will be particularly poignant for three players who switched sides in the summer. Adam Hanga and Thomas Heurtel will be lining up in white uniforms as they make their first EuroLeague returns to the Palau Blaugrana, while Nico Laprovittola will aim to steer Barca to victory from the backcourt as his faces his former teammates. As always, sparks will fly when these two fierce rivals meet.
Round 19: Festive trip to Moscow
Barca’s regular season trip to CSKA Moscow comes on a festive date for both teams with the January 7 meeting sitting nicely around Russian Christmas and Spanish Three Kings celebrations. But there will be an absence of season’s greetings on the floor as these title heavyweights go head-to-head for their first game of 2022 and Barca will be looking to maintain its strong recent streak of success against CSKA. The Spanish team won both games last season, having also triumphed in the previous campaign’s trip to Moscow on a buzzer-beater from Nikola Mirotic.
Round 21: Revenge mission against Efes
Barca and Anadolu Efes Istanbul have developed a fierce rivalry in recent years and that was taken to a new level with last season’s championship game which saw the Turkish team crowned. Their first meeting this season comes in Istanbul in Round 13, but January’s showdown in Barcelona could well prove to be more significant as the two teams certain to be among title contenders head towards the final straight of the regular season. It will also be a memorable night for Sertac Sanli, Barca’s new center who previously spent three years with Efes.
Round 29: Jokubaitis heads home
The links between Barcelona and Zalgiris Kaunas continued to strengthen in the summer. With Lithuanian legend Sarunas Jasikevicius and fellow former Zalgiris player Brandon Davies already within the Blaugrana ranks, Rokas Jokubaitis has also now arrived in Spain after coming through the Zalgiris youth system. The 20-year-old combo guard has his first chance to return to his native land in March – and he won’t be lacking advice from inside his locker room on how it feels to make a ‘homecoming’ to the Zalgirio Arena.
Seen at: Euroleague.net