Vesely and Satoransky push Barcelona to Final Four

2023-05-03T20:53:10+00:00 2023-05-03T21:51:45+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

03/May/23 20:53

FC Barcelona punches in a ticket to the Kaunas Final Four, fittingly in the hosting city of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague championship-crowning tournament

By Eurohoops Team/

Mishandling an early ten-point advantage briefly slowed down FC Barcelona on the way to the 77-66 victory against Zalgiris Wednesday.

The Czech connection of Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely combined for 28 points with 14 points each in Game 3 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Playoffs series. Satoransky and Mike Tobey combined for 19 points in the pivotal third quarter.

“I think we took care of the ball a little bit more,” Vesely explained Barca recovering a double-digit lead after the break. His side was hustling for 50-50 balls and improved outside shooting to get in a safe distance. “We definitely improved our game, especially offensively. It was a fight, this series and this game,” added Satoransky.

Barca sweeping the best-of-five series became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2023 Final Four. Kaunas hosting the season-ending tournament will set Sarunas Jasikevicius back to his hometown sooner rather than later, on 19 May for the Semifinals challenge.

“It sounds good. This is where we wanted to be,” Jasikevicius commented on making the Final Four, “This is it. We are happy to be here.”

“It is my first Final Four. That’s why I came to Barca, to fight for the EuroLeague trophy,” mentioned Satoransky on scheduling the return to Lithuania, “We have a lot of days to prepare. We have some games in our ACB league in Spain. So yeah, I am very excited.”

Tobey ended up with 13 points in Game 3 of the Quarterfinals series, three shy of a new individual season-high. Zalgiris youth product Rokas Jokubaitis added 11 more points. On the injury list, Cory Higgins (back) remained sidelined. Oscar da Silva and Oriol Pauli were both healthy scratches.

Jasikevicius, 47, wrapping up playing days and starting his coaching career at Zalgiris attached himself to success, including reaching the 2018 Final Four, to establish himself as a team legend. The next visit to Zalgirio Arena will carry a much more friendly approach compared to the soldout crowd passionately supporting Zalgiris tonight.

For the team coached by Kazys Maksvytis, captain Edgaras Ulanovas registered a team-high 13 points. Recently cleared for game action, Tyler Cavanaugh (back) did not dress. Keenan Evans (Achilles) has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

“First of all, we lost our game pace, physicality. And it cost us this win,” said the losing head coach, “Barca won three games. They deserved to advance. We wish for them to win the EuroLeague.”

Sharing a message on the Belgrade shooting earlier Wednesday through respective postgame interviews, Jasikevicius and Vesely send their condolences to the victims.

Seeking top seed on domestic Playoffs brackets

Exiting EuroLeague, the Kaunas outfit will finish up Lithuania’s Betsafe LKL Regular Season by playing host to Uniclub Casino-Juventus Friday and visiting CBet and 7-Bet Lietkabelis Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. The 26-4 tally currently tops the league standings, 1.5 games ahead of Rytas.

Looking for a ninth straight win between continental and domestic leagues and packing a joint-high 25-5 record in Spain’s Liga Endesa, Barca will welcome Carplus Fuenlabrada in Palau Blaugrana Sunday.

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