FC Barcelona to advance to the EuroLeague’s Final 4

Palau Blaugrana will host Game 5 of the EuroLeague playoffs tonight when heavy favourites Barcelona will play against Bayern Munich.

The Catalan side dominated the league throughout the regular season and rightfully finished in the first place. The team coached by Sarunas Jasikevicius played very consistently, the longest losing streak was two and had very few bad games (we could mention here the defeat at Baskonia or the one at Palau against Maccabi, a game that didn’t matter much for Barca in the standings). Now, after 4 games played in the playoff series against 8th seeded Bayern, Barca is still not sure of its place in the Final Four and has to play a do-or-die game.

Andrea Trinchieri and his team have done an amazing job in this series. Bayern’s roster doesn’t have the talent Barca has and the German side was also hit by Covid towards the end of the regular season. Most people expected the series to end 3-0 for the Catalans, but Bayern stunned Barca in Game 2 scoring 90 points at Palau against a team that allows on average just 75 points. Then in game 4 in Munich, Bayern held the third-best offense in the EuroLeague to just 52 points (on average Barca scores 81.4 points). As coach Jasikevicius mentioned too, Barca will need to improve its three-point shooting in Game 5, where they have only 29% so far in this series.

For sure the pressure is on Barca. Most people see them as favourites to win the EuroLeague this season and no one imagined that the Blaugrana would not even qualify for the Final Four. However, they have many experienced players in the roster and I’m sure Barca will win tonight. Another factor is the home-court advantage: at the important games the atmosphere in the Palau Blaugrana is very hostile, and this will make the task for Bayern even harder.

Imre Halasz

Image: EuroLeague