Road to Milan: FC Barcelona

May 05, 2014 by Print
Road to Milan: FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona celebrates 2014 Final Four passage
In a memorable season that saw it become the first club to play 300 Euroleague games this century, FC Barcelona comes to Milan in search of the grand prize. In the Final Four for a 13th time – and the fifth in six seasons – Barcelona is aiming to add a third Euroleague trophy to those it raised in 2003 and 2010.

From the start of this season, Barcelona has been a team to fear. With experienced veterans, Barcelona seemed to get better by the week and dominated the toughest part of the season. It won its first 12 games in the Top 16 and came unscathed through some of the competition's toughest road tests – Piraeus, Athens, Istanbul and Vitoria – to secure the top spot in Group E with two games to spare. By routing Panathinaikos Athens 84-62 in Top 16 Round 12, Barcelona set Euroleague records with 24 consecutive Top 16 wins and 31 straight Top 16 home triumphs.

In the best-of-five playoffs, Barcelona swept Galatasaray Liv Hospital in one of the most dominant performances since the playoffs were reinstated in 2005. Barcelona took control of the series in the first two games, winning those by a combined 48 points. However, Game 3 on the road in Istanbul turned into a nail-biter. Barcelona ultimately escaped with a 75-78 victory to become the first team to clinch a spot at the 2014 Final Four. As such, it will arrive in Milan on the wings of yet another record, for the widest overall winning margin in a playoff series, 51 points.

In the previous two Final Fours, Barcelona fell short in the semifinals, last year in London by letting its lead slip en route to being eliminated 67-74 by archrival Real Madrid. Now, the same Spanish giants meet again in Milan, with Barcelona determined to avenge last year’s loss. Having started this decade as Euroleague champions, Barcelona plans to play its best basketball at Mediolanum Forum and return to the winners' podium to celebrate on the biggest stage possible.
Juan Carlos Navarro - FC Barcelona - EB13_56866
  • After a 1-2 regular season start, Barcelona downed CSKA Moscow 79-70 behind 20 points from Juan Carlos Navarro and 16 from Marcelinho Huertas to start a five-game winning streak that led directly to the Top 16.
  • A last-second tip-in by Joey Dorsey let Barcelona force overtime and beat Anadolu Efes Istanbul 84-89 on the road. Ante Tomic had 26 points and was chosen the bwin MVP for February. He would repeat that honor in March.
  • In a special night for homegrown Euroleague legend Juan Carlos Navarro, who became the all-time Euroleague leader in games played, Barcelona downed Olympiacos Piraeus 70-58. Brad Oleson led the way with 15 points.
  • Barcelona locked up first place in its Top 16 group by downing Panathinaikos Athens 84-62 at home to register its 24th consecutive Top 16 win, an all-time record. Alex Abrines and Erazem Lorbek each had 15 points.
  • Barcelona advanced to its fifth Final Four in six years with a 73-76 road win against Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul as the only team to sweep its playoffs series. Marcelinho Huertas scored 16 points.