In, yet another, dramatic one-point game where Olimpija Ljubljana were involved, Barcelona barely escaped Stozice Arena with the win.
In a sold-out arena filled with 13000 enthusiastic Slovenians the game was balanced up to 4-4 and that was when Barcleona stepped on the gas and got away by nine, 4-13 with Rubio and Lorbek scoring at will. Barcelona kept growing the difference and Zdovc threw Shermadini in the court and he made the score 7-17. The first quarter ended with the Catalans leading 11-19.
In the second quarter Gregory took some liberty in the offensive end and cut Barca’s lead down to four, 15-19. However once Navarro took over Barcelona re-established order, 18-27 and later skyrocketed the difference to double digits, 21-33. Ilievski scored his first points of the game, but it was too little too late as the first half ended with Euroleague champions leading 26-36.
Barcelona picked from where they left the game at half and made the score 29-43. But that was it! Olimpija started their final comeback and with the help of their frenzy fans run a partial score of 12-2 to make it 41-45. Barcelona was struggling to score and kept minimum lead thanks to Navarro’s individual skills. And then… it was Jagodnik’s threepointer which put Olimpija in the helm of the game, 50-49. The Slovenian side maintained their lead and after thirty minutes the score was 54-52.
Picture courtesy of Getty Images
Thanks to some nice baskets by Markota Olimpija kept their lead with teeth and nails, 59-55. Barcelona leveled the score at 61 all. With a quick 5-0 Barcelona made a decisive step towards a win but it was Jagodnik again who brought Olimpija back in the game, 64-65. Navarro made the score 67-68 and Gregory missed in his last two shots, and Olmpija lost another game in the dying seconds.
Olimpija: Perry, Ilievski 8, Gregory 14, Jagodnik 12, Shermadini 14, Pinkney 5, Markota 10, K. Lorbek, Ozbolt 4
Barcelona: Sada, Rubio 6, Lakovic, Navarro 27, Perovic 5, Vazquez 2, Ingles, NDong, Morris, E. Lorbek 12, Anderson 5, Grimau 11