Barcelona rolls past Fenerbahce Ulker
FC Barcelona Regal got off to a strong start in the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 by thrashing Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 100-78 at home on Friday. Barcelona bounced back from its only loss this season in style and sent a message that echoed all around the competition. Marcelinho Huertas and Juan Carlos Navarro led six Barcelona scorers in double digits with 14 points apiece. Navarro needs just 11 more to be the first Euroleague player to reach the 3,000-point mark. Erazem Lorbek, Pete Mickeal and Ante Tomic each had 12, while Nate Jawai scored 10 for Barcelona. Tomic added 11 rebounds for a double-double. Bojan Bogdanovic led Fenerbahce with 19 points. Romain Sato added 15 and Mike Batiste had 13 for the guests. Navarro and Lorbek combined for 17 first-quarter points to give Barcelona a 24-13 edge after 10 minutes. Barcelona improved its margin to 54-35 at halftime and then again to 92-69 with three minutes to go en route to reaching the century mark and stamping the victory.
First quarter: Lorbek, Navarro shine early
Barcelona tried Victor Sada in its starting lineup to stop Bo McCalebb from the very beginning. Juan Carlos Navarro got Barcelona going with his trademark 'bomba' in transition. Mike Batiste downed a six-meter shot, but Lorbek copied that at the other end and fed Ante Tomic for a layup that gave the hosts a 6-2 edge. Lorbek kept pushing Barcelona with a put-back basket, which caused Fenerbahce to stop the game at 8-2. Lorbek scored again, as Fenerbahce tried to use longer possessions to find better shots. Batiste finished one of those with a baseline jumper, which Tomic erased with a jump hook. Bojan Bogdanovic made free throws only to see Navarro score with a backdoor layup and Mickeal add a three-point play to make it a double-digit game, 17-6. Bogdanovic followed one from downtown with a fast break layup, but an unstoppable Lorbek hit a mid-range shot and Navarro nailed a catch-and-shoot triple for a 22-11 lead. Mickeal and Bogdanovic traded baskets to fix the score at 24-13 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Barcelona pulls away
Marcelinho Huertas hit a jumper early in the second quarter, which Oguz Savas matched with a tip-in. Baris Ermis scored off a midcourt steal, however Sarunas Jasikevicius followed a mid-range jumper with a three-pointer to boost Barcelona's lead to 31-17. Emir Preldzic came through with a put-back basket in transition, but Joe Ingles bettered it with a corner triple. Romain Sato buried an off-balance shot and fed Ermis for a three that gave Fenerbahce some hope at 34-24. Preldzic took over with a driving basket, but Nate Jawai ignited the crowd with a consecutive dunks - the second one off a behind-the-back assist from Huertas. Ermis scored in transition. Huertas answered from downtown for a 41-28 Barcelona lead. Tomic, Mickeal and Navarro made free throws to break the game open at 47-28. Sato and Lorbek exchanged baskets and Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer for a 49-33 score. C.J. Wallace joined the three-point shootout and Navarro hit an off-balance rainbow shot to boost the hosts' lead to 54-35 at halftime.
Third quarter: Hosts remain in total control
Mickeal finished a great team play with an easy layup right after the break, but Preldzic did even better with a three-point play. Navarro answered from downtown and a jump hook by Jawai made it a 23-point game. Batiste buried a jumper off the dribble and free throws by McCalebb brought Fenerbahce a bit closer, 61-42. Batiste scored down low to cap a 0-6 Fenerbahce run, before Jawai and Wallace stepped up with foul shots. Batiste stayed on fire with a baseline jumper, but Sada fed Jawai for a slam and scored off a steal for a 68-46 Barcelona margin. Batiste nailed a three-pointer, but Mickeal hit a rainbow shot and Wallace added a second-chance basket to boost the hosts' lead to 72-49. Sato tried to change things with a layup-plus-foul, but Mickeal and Tomic kept Barcelona way ahead, 75-52. Sato and Huertas traded three-pointers and free throws by Preldzic got Fenerbahce within 78-58. Xavi Rabaseda collected his first point from the foul line and a dunk by Sato made it 79-60 at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: Barcelona seals impressive win
Barcelona struggled to score early in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Ermis stepped up with a layup and Omer Onan struck from downtown to bring Fenerbahce within 79-65. Jasikevicius rescued Barcelona with free throws but David Andersen hit a jump hook - his first points tonight. Rabaseda shined with a backdoor layup that Onan erased with a long two-pointer for a 82-69 score with 7 minutes left. Huertas hit a rainbow shot and Tomic dunked it to seal the outcome, 87-69, midway through the fourth quarter. Both teams fought now for points differential, a critical issue if a tie takes place at the end of this round. Tomic shined with an acrobatic basket and Sada struck from downtown for a 92-69 margin with 3 minutes left. Sato fired in a shot but it was already too little, too late for the guests. Barcelona was celebrating a big home win and Fenerbahce returned home knowing it needs to bounce back soon to keep all playoffs chances alive.
Saturday, December 29, 2012