Regal FC Barcelona are through to Sunday’s Final, after beating CSKA Moscow, 64-54 in a hard-nosed Semi-Final in Paris.
In a low scoring contest, Fran Vazquez paced the victors home with 11 points, supported by Ricky Rubio and Juan Carlos Navarro, both, with 10 points. CSKA hung around after setting the early pace – Ramunas Siskauskas’ game leading 19 points personal, in vain for the second-best Russians.
In a game that was scrappy throughout. Barca kept their cool towards the end, despite not scoring a single field-goal until the five minute mark of the first quarter – and with it, grab a place in Sunday’s final, where they meet either Olympiacos or Partizan.
Barcelona took the lead towards the end of the first period of play and trading baskets in the second quarter – never looked back. Six straight points from Boniface N’Dong giving the Catalans an eight-point cushion, mid-way through the second quarter. [29-21]
J.R Holden and Trajan Langdon hit back-to-back three-pointers for CSKA, but it was replied in kind by Juan Carlos Navarro, then by Ricky Rubio – restoring the eight-point advantage in the third, but it was the final period, where Barca kept their consistency, and an alley-oop play midway through, linking Ricky Rubio’s lob to Fran Vazquez, gave the favourites a six-point lead, and it was Rubio that stuck a dagger in the loud CSKA Moscow fans hearts – when he nailed a triple that gave Barca a deserved win.
John Hobbs for talkbasket.net – in Paris.