FC Barcelona advances to Euroleague’s Final Four

Regal F.C. Barcelona is on their way to the Euroleague’s Final Four (discuss the game).

Playing in front of a sellout crowd on their homecourt, Barcelona rode Juan Carlos Navarro and Ersan Ilyasova on offense as Barcelona defeated Tau Ceramica 78-62 to win the best-of-five series 3-2.  The match between the two Spanish clubs was only the second game five in Euroleague Playoff history.Ersan Ilyasova dribbles for Regal FC Barcelona

Navarro and Ilyasova would each scored 19 points for Barcelona.  The 6-10 Ilyasova recorded the game’s only double-double by adding 10 rebounds as well as contributing 4 assists and hitting all three of his three-point attempts The 21-year old Ilyasova should be named MVP of game 5.  He has had a great playoffs thus far and quite a bright future ahead of him.

The Game
Barcelona jumped on Tau from the get-go, jumping to a quick 14-4 lead to start the game.  Barcelona would build their lead after each quarter; An eight point lead after one and 10 point lead at halftime  behind La Bomba’s 4 three-pointers (in six attempts).

With Igor Rakocevic locked down, Tiago Splitter did his best to keep Tau in the hunt with his team-high 19 points and 7 rebounds.

But Barcelona continued their momentum, building a 14 point lead after three quarter on an Ilyasova three.

An Ilyasova three started the fourth as the lead would eventually balloon to 19.

Jaka Lakovic added 16 points for the winners.

Pete Mickael put up 14 points and 7 rebounds for Tau Ceramica, and Euroleague’s leading scorer Rakocevic was held to just 10 points, but had a game-high 4 steals.

This will be the first time in four years that Tau Ceramica will not be in the Final Four.  It will be Barcelona’s first Final Four since 2005.  In Barca’s three wins over Tau, the average margin of victory has been 20 points.

F.C. Barcelona will meet defending Euroleague champions CSKA Moscow in the Final Four, while Panathinaikos will face Olympiakos.  The games will be held at in Berlin, Germany at the state-of-the-art o2 World beggining on May 1st.

With the last four clubs standing, who do you believe will win the 2009 Euroleague title?

Links and Resources: Game Report: Barcelona vs Tau Ceramica (Euroleague.net), FC Barcelona – TAU Ceramica: Euroleague playoff quarter-finals Game Five (Interbasket), Regal Barcelona vs. Tau Ceramica Euroleague Preview and Quotes (Euroleague.net), ULEB Game 4: Barcelona blows out Tau Ceramica (Interbasket)


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