Credit: ZUMA Wire
Credit ZUMA Wire

FC Barcelona started the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines Euroleague season strong at home with a convincing 96-64 victory over ALBA Berlin.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Mirotic
EFF
31
Nikola Mirotic
Points 22
Accuracy 8-8
Rebounds 5
Assists 1

As it happened in the ACB League last week, Nikola Mirotic was once again unstoppable. The power-forward scored 22 points without missing a shot (4/4 2PT, 4/4 3PT). He finished with 31 PIR.

“He has been amazing tonight. He is in really good shape. We found him near the rim in the first half, which was our goal. Then he was on fire from the three-point line in the third quarter,“ Jasikevicius said about Mirotic’s performance after the game.

Sarunas Jasikevicius congratulated the contribution of each player in the whole game.

“I want to congratulate our players and fans. We opened the Turkish Airlines Euroleague in a really good way. It is very important in this difficult stretch, with three games in six days, to find the pace. Everybody played together, I think they enjoyed this game. We go from here.“

FC Barcelona showed off its offensive potential, scoring 96 points over 60 percent in field goals. Apart from those stats, the “Blaugranas” finished with 28 assists (7 Laprovittola, 6 Jokubaitis, who tied career-high, and 6 Calathes). 

“Our point guards had a mission today to find spaces in the paint. And they did it as we wanted to. For sure, it helped the way we started the game. I’m happy for them”, explained Jasikevicius.

Since the beginning of the season, Jasikevicius has focused on the ups and downs of his team. Tonight, despite the 15 turnovers, the Lithuanian mastermind mentioned the regularity of his guys.

“We played well for long periods of time. We kept our focus. We went down a bit in the third quarter, but that is more my fault than the players’ fault. I started to rotate the team and think on what comes next so that everybody is happy, everybody plays. “, he added.

Nikola Mirotic

Nikola  Mirotic
Team: FC Barcelona
Position: PF, SF
Age: 30
Height: 208 cm
Weight: 102 kg
Birth place: Podgorica, Montenegro

Asked about the newcomers, Jasikevicius reminded how important this period is to adapt them into the team’s philosophy.

“We are trying to find the balance between their adaptation to our style and my capacity to get the best of them. It will take time, but we are in the right way”, assured Saras.

About the tough schedule (FC Barcelona will play 11 games this month), Jasikevicius explained they would have to think about involving all the players.

“We want to win every game, to control every single match... But now, the schedule is another key to care about. We are going to play almost every 48 hours. Rotations are essential at this moment.“

On the opposing side, coach Israel Gonzalez admitted that ALBA lacked players but recognized his team’s effort.

“We are not 100%, we knew this before the game. We missed a lot of players. We knew that it was going to be difficult. In the beginning, I was surprised at how Barca defended.

But we never stopped working. Forcing 15 turnovers to Barcelona is a good signal. We faced the second half with good energy. We won the third quarter, and the team was trying to do things as best as they could. For that, we have to be a little happy about this,“ he said.

The Spanish coach, who is in his first season after Aito’s sabbatical year, praised FC Barcelona.

“They have played so well, we could not stop their offense. They are one of the best defensive teams in Europe. They forced us to change shots and to do things that we are not used to”, he concludes.

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Barselonos FC Barcelona
Berlyno ALBA
63%
39/62
Field goals
36%
25/69
41
Rebounds
27
28
Assists
16
4
Steals
5
67%
14/21
3-pointers
30%
8/27
14
Turnovers
8

Best players

Nikola  Mirotic
22 PTS
8/8 FG
2/2 FT
Luke  Sikma
16 PTS
8/14 FG
0/0 FT
FC Barcelona
Few players
5 REB
Luke  Sikma
11 REB
4 DREB
7 OREB
Nicolas  Laprovittola
7 As
2 TO
22 MIN
Luke  Sikma
4 As
1 TO
26 MIN
Nikola  Mirotic
31 EFF
100% 2P%
100% 3P%
Luke  Sikma
23 EFF
67% 2P%
0% 3P%