Dfter the setback in Valencia, Barça recovered with a victory in Fuenlabrada (69-86), where they were able to dominate the rebound that they lacked in La Fonteta (25-39) and added a hard-fought victory with the one who looks from another form a triple commitment week.
- 69 – Urbas Fuenlabrada (22+9+22+16): Samar (4), Emegano (11), Meindl (7), Eyenga, Alexander (16) -starting five-, Novak, Milosavljevic (12), Fernández (2 ), Ristic (17) and Bagayoko.
- 86 – Barça (20+17+24+25): Calathes, Laprovittola (13), Exum (7), Mirotic (6), Smits (7) -starting five-, Jokubaitis (7), Davies (18), Martínez (8), Hayes, Kuric (15), Abrines (3) and Nnaji (2).
The attention to defense that Saras Jasikevicius had requested the day before was reflected in a Barça team in this section with up to ten players who scored sacks (10 from Nick Calathes, 5 from Nikola Mirotic and Nigel Hayes). Without Sertac Sanli, due to a last-minute technical decision, Brandon Davies shone, who in the second half exhibited himself in attack with 18 points and 4 rebounds.
With a black crêpe on the shirt in memory of Norman Carmichael, a Barça and Spanish national team player in the 1970s, who died this Monday at the age of 74, the Saras men chained a positive week that will take them on Friday to visit to Zalgiris in Lithuania and to host Betis on Sunday.
A victory that clears up doubts for the visitors, but extends the fall of Fuenlabrada, which chained its fifth consecutive defeat despite having offered a good image in the first half. The 17 points and 6 rebounds from center Dusan Ristic, who sustained Urbas’s meager reaction options, or the 16 from Kyle Alexander, were far from enough to fight Barça
Without Sanli, low at the last minute -in addition to the long-term injured Cory Higgins and Pierre Oriola- Barça jumped to the parquet floor without pivot, avoiding a reference to the interiors of Fuenlabrada and taking advantage of the mobility of Nikola Mirotic, and Dante Exum, with Rolands Smits on hometown center Alexander, a wide open zone with a lot of defensive activity.
The effect was a 0-7 start from which Urbas quickly recovered, recovering their defense to force 4 turnovers in six minutes and rushing for Leo Meindl to make it 16-11 with a triple (min. 5). After a local dance move that made it 18-13, Jasikevicius called his team to a chapter and improved with the refreshment unit to close the quarter 22-20.
From dynamism it passed to slowness. The duel became thick between good defenses and scattered errors. The young Barça center James Nnaji, 17 years old, left good feelings, who put up with Alexander although he was soft against the Canadian’s second one-handed mate. His good work on the rebound and two triples, first by Abrines and then by Sergi Martínez, gave Barça a more than profitable lead at halftime after what was seen on the floor (31-37).
A two-handed mate by Exum and a three-pointer by Laprovittola showed that Barça came out of the locker room with the intention of breaking up the match (31-42). Raventós stopped him instantly, but he couldn’t find a way to stop Brandon Davies, who drove the local centers crazy and infected Mirotic. A pass from him from the area allowed a released Laprovittola to put in the +15 visitor’s triple (36-51, min. 24).
The victory seemed more than on the way for the Barcelona side, but the always surprising Dusan Ristic appeared to hit a triple and a basket, putting his team just six units behind (47-53, min. 27). He had left, because Barça was only seven ahead in the last quarter (53-61).
The people from Fuenlabre defended and ran, but as soon as they dropped a point their defense appeared, first Jokubaitis and then Kuric with a sharp wrist, with five points out of the 15 with which the match ended for a partial 0-9 that led to a duel of a even 57-62 to 57-71 (min. 34). Davies joined the party, unstoppable even with two rival centers in the paint, to crown the Barça victory in Fuenlabrada (69-86).