Regal FC Barcelona finished the 2008-09 Euroleague Basketball season in third place after cruising to a 79-95 victory over Olympiacos Piraeus at o2 World in Berlin. In a fast-paced and entertaining game, Barcelona led from start to finish, pulling away with a 0-15 charge that bridged the first and second periods, as it held the Reds without a basket for nearly seven minutes. David Andersen scored 20 to pace Barca, which finished the season with 18 wins – more than any team in the Euroleague this season. Juan Carlos Navarro and Jaka Lakovic added 14 apiece for the winners and Daniel Santiago scored 10. Lakovic also dished 5 steals. Lynn Greer led Olympiacos with 19 points, Ioannis Bourousis posted 17 points and 9 rebounds, Nikola Vujcic finished with 12 and Zoran Erceg had 11.
Santiago got Barcelona going with a layup, but free throws by Vujcic tied it at 2-2. Olympiacos head coach Panagiotis Giannakis opted for an unusual backcourt featuring Milos Teodosic and Michalis Pelekanos, trying to get more defensive intensity. Lubos Barton stepped up with a three-point play and Santiago dunked for a 2-7 Barcelona lead. Vujcic took over with a spin move in the low post, but Navarro followed a layup-plus-foul with free throws to boost his team's margin to 4-12. Andersen buried his trademark turnaround jumper, which Teodosic erased with a floating layup. Lakovic sank free throws before Navarro fed Santiago for an alley-oop dunk-and-foul. Georgios Printezis and Pelekanos kept the Reds within 9-19. Erceg and Santiago traded jump hooks, as Olympiacos adjusted its man-to-man defense. Greer downed 4 free throws in an 8-0 Olympiacos run highlighted by Theo Papaloukas's wild driving layup that brought the Reds back to life at 19-22. Ersan Ilyasova scored in penetration off a Barcelona timeout before Sada made free throws to give his team some fresh air, 19-26, after 10 minutes.
Barcelona dominated the boards with Fran Vazquez and Ilyasova together on court. Both players set the crowd on fire with back-to-back dunks that caused Olympiacos to stop the game at 19-31. Olympiacos tried to slow down the game tempo, but could not find good shots. At the other end, Jordi Trias buried a four-meter jumper that broke the game open, 19-33. Olympiacos had been scoreless for five minutes already while a 'bomba' by Navarro made it a 16-point game. A put-back layup by Trias capped a 0-15 run. Finally Printezis banked in a jump hook. Gianluca Basile immediately answered from downtown to make it 21-40. Greer collected a steal and raced downcourt for an easy layup, but free throws by Andre Barrett and a mid-range jumper by Andersen kept Regal FCB far ahead, 23-44. Greer nailed a three-pointer and Vujcic scored down low in a 7-0 Olympiacos run that Papaloukas capped with a driving layup. Barrett scored in penetration to fix the halftime score at 30-46.
Vujcic hit a jump hook immediately after the break, but Navarro answered from downtown to keep Barca in control. Greer pleased the crowd with a floating layup and a running triple that saw Barcelona call timeout at 37-49. Vujcic and Lakovic traded baskets before Bourousis downed a three-pointer from the top of the key. Papaloukas added a driving layup to get Olympiacos within 44-53. Vujcic made free throws, too. Barcelona tried twin point guards with Sada and Lakovic together on court. Ilyasova took over with a put-back dunk that Bourousis matched with an uncontested layup. Lakovic followed a layup with a big three-pointer and Sada added a stop-and-pop jumper to keep Barcelona out of trouble, 50-63. Erceg made foul shots, but Lakovic buried one from downtown over Bourousis. Roger Grimau joined the three-point shootout for a 52-69 Barcelona margin. Erceg beat the shot clock with a jump hook that Andersen matched with a baseline jumper. Free throws by Papaloukas and a put-back layup by Bourousis brought the Reds within 58-73 after three quarters.
Olympiacos needed a quick comeback to get back in the game and Bourousis tried to ignite it with a quick basket. Andersen immediately answered from downtown and soon hit a free throw for a 60-77 score. Olympiacos could not find its scoring rhythm until Erceg stepped up with a layup-plus-foul. Bourousis added a jump hook to give the Reds some hope at 65-77 with over eight minutes to go. Barton buried a three-pointer, but Pelekanos scored after an Olympiacos timeout. Andersen kept pacing Barcelona and his trademark three-pointer from the key sealed the outcome, 70-85, with four minutes to go. Olympiacos kept trying through an outstanding Bourousis, but everything was said and done already. Barcelona added a prestigious win to finish a fantastic Euroleague season in style while Olympiacos hopes to use this experience to come back even stronger in 2009-10.
Sunday, May 3, 2009