Erazem Lorbek top scored with 26 points and looked every inch the MVP of the tournament. His combination of pick and pop threes and deft jumpers and hooks was unstoppable, as he destroyed Caja Laboral’s interior defense in his typically understated fasion.
Lampe’s hot start
Macej Lampe started strong for Caja Laboral, shooting 4/4 in the first quarter, but was sent to the bench with two personal fouls in the 8th minute of the game. He only played another 4 minutes, either side of the third quarter break, and finished with 10 points on 5/5 FGs. Caja Laboral started on an 8-2 run, but Lorbek brought Barcelona back into the game with a beautiful fadeaway jumper, part of a 7-0 Barcelona run.
Fernando San Emeterio stopped the charge with a layup and the bonus, but Barcelona led 19-18 at the break. Lampe’s departure appeared to give room to Mirza Teletovic to go to work, the Bosnian big man scoring 15 points in the first three quarters, but nothing in the fourth, when too much pressure was placed on him to carry the load.
Mirza Carries the Load but Barcelona Defense Takes Over
Teletovic capped his scoring, and a 6-0 Baskonia run, with a furious dunk towards the end of the third quarter. Another Lorbek three, one of four in the game, instantly swung momentum back to the home team. Chuck Eidson hit a three early in the fourth, and when Pete Mickael grabbed an offensive board and laid it back in for the basket and the foul for a 58-54 after a 10-2 run. The crowd exploded, and Barcelona smelled blood.
One possession in the final quarter summed up Barcelona’s dominance and three blocks were made on the same possession, Mickael snuffing out a desperate San Emeterio three point attempt from the corner. Baskonia were crowded out of the paint, and with Lampe on the bench, nobody had the ability to draw Boniface NDong out of the paint. The veteran big man capped his 8 point, 8 rebound performance by brutally rejecting Nemanja Bjelica’s dunk at the rim, and Barcelona once again won a hard fought game with impregnable defense. Juan Carlos Navarro finished with only 3 points and 0/9 from the floor, but it really didn’t matter.