FC Barcelona cruised to victory over San Sebastian side Gipuzkoa BC in the ACB on Sunday afternoon. The Catalans hosted the Basque visitors in the Palau Blaugrana and engaged in a close but poor first half before improving defensively in the third and fourth quarters allowing them to gain momentum on the other end.
Justin Doellman led the home side in scoring with 19 points in just 20 minutes, shooting 73% from the field, but kept the focus on the team after the victory:
“Definitely happy with the outcome. We played well today in the third quarter, fourth quarter. We were able to break the game open.”
Although Doellman led the team in points the day belonged to the younger players on the squad, Moussa Diagne in particular. The 21 year old centre hailing from Senegal, who withdrew from the 2014 NBA draft and later signed with Barcelona last summer, scored eight with all three of his field goals coming from dunks as well as making two blocks. Diagne was one of two additions to the squad today as Ante Tomic and Carlos Arroyo where rested. Marcus Eriksson was the other change contributing eight points, which included a nice step back jumper to close the game.
Tomas Satoransky led the younger players in scoring with 11 points and made five assists as well as making a steal that led to a dunk from Alex Abrines who netted 10 points in total on top of a steal of his own.
20 year old power forward Aleksander Vezenkov, who scored six for himself with three rebounds and two assists, had this to say about the victory:
“We prepared well. We didn’t play very well in the first half but in the second we played very strongly on defensive I think they scored just 25 points for one half.”
The visiting Basque side failed to hit their rhythm in the game. In the first half they were chasing the home team, keeping the margin narrow. In the second half they always seemed to be a step behind. When Gipuzkoa scored two, Barcelona got a three pointer. When Gipuzkoa scored from the beyond the arc, Barcelona would do it twice. Ultimately they couldn’t offer a lasting response to either Barcelona’s defensive or offensive efforts in the second half. Former New York Knick Travis Wear led the scoring for the visitors with 13 points.
This win places Barcelona at the top of the table in the ACB Liga Endesa with wins in all four of their games, placing them ahead of Baskonia and Valencia on points difference. Meanwhile Gipuzkoa slip to the bottom of the table.
The only concern for the home side after today’s game would be Shane Lawal leaving the court with a minor limp that the centre brushed off as being due to old age.
All of the Barcelona players registered on the scoreboard with the team shooting 52% from the beyond the arc and 72% from inside it, ending week on a high note for the team as they beat Euroleague rival Panathinaikos by 25 earlier in the week.
Next Friday Barcelona are away in Lithuania against Zalgiris Kaunas in the Euroleague before playing in Andorra in the ACB on Sunday.