Promotions

94-76: Barça subdues Partizan to the rhythm of Ricky

Barcelona Partizan Basketball Euroleague

Barça has taken a big step towards securing home field advantage in the Euroleague playoffs after a strong 74-96 victory over Partizan. Just a few days after a tough loss to Baskonia in a high-scoring game (103-96), the Blaugrana once again engaged in a fast-paced game with the Serbian team. This time, however, they were able to defend better, especially in the second half.

This win gives Barça some breathing room after their close rivals in the standings had been catching up in the past few days. The Blaugrana are now just one win away from Monaco, who won against Alba Berlin, and have a two-game lead over Panathinaikos, who lost in the Athenian derby. Fenerbahçe and Olympiacos are also two wins behind, and Virtus Bologna could join this group if they beat Real Madrid on Friday. Barça will need to stay sharp as they have four of their last five regular season games away from home, where they have struggled more this season.

Against Partizan, Barça started off shaky, much like they did against Baskonia on Sunday, giving their opponents easy scoring opportunities. Aleksa Avramovic had a strong start, scoring 9 points in the first five minutes to give Partizan an early lead (0-6, 9-16). With the help of Jokubaitis, Barça managed to turn things around and finish the high-scoring first quarter ahead (29-24).

From that point on, Barça maintained control of the game. They tried to pull away in the second quarter (37-28), but Partizan fought back to tie the game (38-38). Avramovic continued to respond to Laprovittola’s three-pointers, and Barça went into halftime with a slim three-point lead (51-48).

But during the restart two factors combined that ended up deciding the match. On the one hand, Zeljko Obradovic decided to leave Avramovic, who scored 19 points in the first half, on the bench. On the other hand, Roger Grimau decided to put Ricky Rubio as the point guard. The Serbian team lost balance and points while the Blaugrana took advantage of Rubio’s calmness and vision of the game. The former NBA player won over the crowd with his fantastic passes, forming a great partnership with Willy Hernangómez that could bring a lot of joy to the culés this season. In just five minutes, Barça had taken control of the game (67-52).

With Ricky back on the bench, Partizan seemed to come alive thanks to Zach LeDay, who scored six points in a row, bringing the score to 67-58. Avramovic returned to the game and the difference was reduced a bit by the end of the quarter (74-68). However, Partizan needed more firepower against a Barça team that was already cruising ahead. With Punter not finding much success and the centers not making much of an impact, the Serbians couldn’t do much to stop a Barça team that once again extended its lead with Laprovittola’s three-pointers, Willy and Vesely’s dominance in the paint, and a solid overall contribution from all of Grimau’s players.