Barcelona make vital late stand in ‘important’ Euroleague win

Xavi Pascual praised FC Barcelona Lassa’s vital resilience on an ‘up and down night’ in Group C for the two-time Euroleague champions.

The Spanish powerhouse prevailed 78-72 against brave Polish visitors Stelmet Zieluna Gora to go 1-1 after Round 2 of the regular season of this season’s competition.

Coach Pascual’s team trailed 12-2 early in the first quarter and again 71-68 late in the fourth before closing the contest with a pivotal 10-1 tear.

Pascual said following Friday’s final buzzer in front of 4,729 fans at the Palau Blaugrana: “We are happy for this win on an up and down night for us. We had a bad start on offence and defence, and that conditioned the entire game.”

After a sluggish start in their first ever meeting with the current Polish champions, last season’s Euroleague quarter-finalists rallied with an 18-2 run to build a 30-21 lead in the middle of the second.

Pascual said: “Our effort allowed us to change the game by playing smarter on offence. There was a moment at the end of the third and in the beginning in the fourth in which we didn’t do well on offence.

“We stopped scoring and the game started to get complicated.”

Barcelona, who visit 1-1 Panathinaikos in Round 3 on Thursday (October 29), forced a turnover and had two big blocks from centre Samardo Samuels on now 0-2 Stelmet’s last three offences in the fourth to clinch Friday’s victory.

Pascual said: “It was hard for us, but the team bounced back, which was difficult, but needed. Like I said, we are happy for this win.”

Barcelona centre Shane Lawal added: “We got off to a bad start and they (Stelmet) are a good team.”