FC Barcelona defeated Surne Bilbao in an almost fully packed Palau Blaugrana yesterday, in a game that counted for Round 17 of the Liga Endesa. The final score was 88-78 for the hosts.
Barca and especially Nico Laprovittola dominated the first half of the game as the Blaugrana had a 20-point advantage already in the middle of the second quarter (35-15) and went to halftime with an 18-point lead. The lead grew even more in the second half but then Bilbao slowly started to come back in the game and cut the deficit to just 4 points near the end of the game but Barca managed a 6-0 run to hold on to the victory.
Sarunas Jasikevicius decided to rest Jan Vesely, Cory Higgins and Mike Tobey for this game and this gave the opportunity for some youngsters to shine. In the absence of Vesely, Nigerian center James Nnaji played 22 minutes and scored 16 points, while 16-year-old Italian youngster Dame Sarr became the second youngest player in history to debut for Barca in the ACB League.
Besides the two teenagers, Nico Laprovittola’s performance has to be highlighted as the Argentine was the best scorer in the game with 20 points in 5/6 from the 3-point line. Rokas Jokubaitis added 14 points, while for the visiting team, Adam Smith scored 16 points.
After this win, Barca is still tied with Real Madrid for the first spot in the ACB with a 14-3 record, while Bilbao is fighting for a playoff spot, being currently 10th in the league with just one win behind the 8th place. Next round the Basque team will host Joventut Badalona, while Barca will stay in Catalunya as they will visit Girona. Until the game in Palau Girona-Fontajau, Barca will play a very important game in the EuroLeague, as the WiZink Center will host the El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Thursday evening.
Image credit: FC Barcelona