In a night that will be remembered in Barcelona for a long time, the hosts FC Barcelona Regal thrashed Union Olimpija on Thursday night by 72-46. It was a night for the ages because it was then that star Juan Carlos Navarro became the new Euroleague all-time top scorer, surpassing Marcus Brown. With 5:30 to go in the third quarter, Chuck Eidson stole the ball and fed Navarro for an easy layup that marked his 2716th point in his Euroleague career since 2000. A record that will probably last for a long time since Navarro has just extended his contract for two more years with Barca. The win also allowed Barcelona to advance to the Top 16 keeping a perfect 6-0 record in Group D, while Olimpija drops to 1-5. Navarro led the winners with 14 points, the ones he needed to break the record. Marcelinho Huertas and Kosta Perovic added 12 apiece to lead the winners. For Olimpija, Danny Green and Aleksandar Capin had 10 points each.
Barcelona stormed on court with an 11-0 run to start the deal including five points by Juan Carlos Navarro. Union Olimpija called a timeout to sort things out as Danny Green hit the first points for the guests. Barcelona looked for its big men, especially Kosta Perovic, to keep a safe distance, but Olimpija reacted through Boris Rothbart. Some great passing got Marcelinho Huertas open for a long jumper to make it 19-8. Green countered quickly with a jumper, but Navarro came down the lane with a floater. Sasu Salin and Aleksandar Capin got to the basket to keep Olimpija at a reasonable distance, 21-14. Pete Mickeal’s first basket and Capin free throws left it at 23-16 after 10 minutes.
Victor Sada channeled his inner-Navarro for a floater and the first basket of the second quarter. CJ Wallace was next in line to make the double-digit lead return to the scoreboard. Barcelona was dominating again now with tough defense that didn't allow the Olimpija players clear passes in offense and Pete Mickeal hit the bomb for 30-16. Jaka Blazic and Deon Thompson teamed up to score for Olimpija, but the big men of the hosts were hurting the guests' basket. Ben Woodside balsted a three now for Olimpija but Navarro, back on court, copied him to keep the 37-24 for Barca. Olimpija always tried to connect passes in offense to move the ball as Woodside fed Thompson for a big slam. However, the 6 turnovers for the guests at this point were a big obstacle as Mickeal was wide open for a new three that went in, Barca's fourth. to close the first half at 40-26.
The second half started with a Perovic new basket and Green soon joined him to score for Olimpija. Varda was finally open for his first basket of the night while Navarro got closer to the record. With 5:30 to go in the quarter, Chuck Eidson stole the ball and ran in offense to feed Navarro for an easy layup that was the 48-30 and his 2716th point in his Euroleague career as he became the new all-time top scorer in the competition. The Barcelona steamroller was far fromdone after the celebration however, as a new 10-2 run capped with three Eidson points made it a 26-point game, 58-32. Olimpija simply got stuck and that was only used by the hosts to increase the lead to 63-32 after Huertas' three to close the third period. The ongoing run was 19-2 at this point.
Sasu Salin broke the Olimpija spell with a long jumper but Victor Sada appeared to remind the rivals that the hosts would not relax. Later Sada jumped to block Thompson's layup much to the awe of the stands, and then Fran Vazquez had a new layup to make it 69-38. In the last minutes of the game neither team forced the situation as the clock ticked away to the final buzzer. Barcelona still showed some impressive defensive plays but the game was long decided.
Thursday, November 24, 2011