By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
With five players scoring in double figures Barcelona beat Valencia 89 – 72 to return to a winning track in EuroLeague after three losses in a row.
Despite missing Nikola Mirotic and Brandon Davies, Barcelona dominated most areas of the game to get the victory. Sarunas Jasikevicius’ players had some potent shooting from beyond the arc (11-19) and made Valencia pay for its 14 turnovers by scoring 23 points off them.
Alex Abrines led the charge for Barca with 16 points on 4-6 triples while Adam Hanga and Cory Higgins dropped 13 points apiece. Leo Westermann had a solid debut with the Blaugrana, finishing with five points plus four assists in 16:23 and Nick Calathes contributed eight points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
“We remembered our last game here against Valencia, they scored 100 points, and our mentality today was defense,” Abrines said. “It is a great start [of the second half of the regular season]. We also had a great start to the season, so we just have to keep working.”
Valencia greatly lacked the usual output of captain Bojan Dubljevic, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder this season. Louis Labeyrie (17 points), Mike Tobey (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Joan Sastre (13 points) stood out from the Taronja that trailed for the whole game after their 2-7 entrance.
Looking forward to Westermann’s improvement
Jasikevicius, who was acquainted with Westermann from Zalgiris Kaunas, was satisfied with his new player’s debut and will be expecting more from him once he gets his rhythm going.
“I believe that Leo [Westermann] can contribute a lot of things, like he did today. I think he lacks rhythm, but knows our systems really well, he spent two years with us. His numbers don’t tell the value of what he did in tonight’s game. He was always at the right place, at the right time, helping and talking. He provided some of the experience that we need, he was solid and this is what we were looking for. I think that it is obvious that the kid didn’t have a lot of rhythm after not playing for more than two weeks and he will improve”
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball