By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
FC Barcelona strolled by ALBA Berlin, 96-64, to tip off the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season and wrap up Regular Season Round 1 on Friday.
Nikola Mirotic led the way with a game-high 22 points at Palau Blaugrana. The experienced forward had averaged 18 points per ACB contest early in his third season after leaving the NBA and kept the hot streak going with 8/8 field goals, including 4/4 three-pointers. His 31 PIR marked another game-high.
Rokas Jokubaitis, 34th pick of the 2021 NBA draft with his NBA rights belonging to the New York Knicks, registered 12 points behind 5/5 field goals. Barcelona ended up at 61% from the two-point range and 66.7% from beyond the arc in the dominating display at home.
The Spanish champions reached the EuroLeague championship game last season. The sixth win in a row against ALBA produced a positive start to the next season.
Alex Abrines remained out. On the other end, Israel Gonzalez was left with 11 players in his head coaching debut in EuroLeague missing Kresimir Nikic, Christ Koumadje, Johannes Thiemann. and Stefan Peno, a former player of the Catalonia powerhouse.
Luke Sikma put up a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double at Barcelona. Maodo Lo followed with 12 points, ten in the first half.
The team led by Sarunas Jasikevicius went from the 3-0 start in the ACB to 1-0 in EuroLeague. Surne Bilbao on the road follows on Sunday. EuroLeague Round 2 shifts Barca at FC Bayern Munich next Thursday.
The German champions, 1-1 in the new easyCredit BBL Season, will host LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne next Friday following a German Cup fixture versus Telekom Baskets Bonn on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Barca Twitter
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