Regal FC Barcelona tipped-off the EuroLeague’s quarterfinals with an exhaustive win over Panathinaikos Athens, 83-82, at home this Tuesday, March the 22nd, jumping ahead to a 1-0 series lead.
Rubio started the game matched up against Dimitris Diamantidis and did pretty good, containing the front-runner for the league’s MVP in the first-quarter. He was the first of the starters to sit, as always, and came back early to run the second unit in the second-quarter. In the third-quarter, Diamantidis hit a couple of three-pointers off Rubio being there one step too late and Xavi Pascual sat him for the remainder of the game.
Tuesday’s game was another example Barça can win anyway you want. It was a tied-up, grounded game (51 personal fouls, 53 free-throws) where the offense stalled and the defense was not affective (allowing Panathinaikos to score 36 points in the paint). Yet, Barça left with the win and the series lead.