Since BallinEurope has been shamefully derelict in his duties as high priest of the Church of Rubio this season, let’s run some FC Barcelona clips in preparation of the defending Euroleague champs’ incipient matchup against thus far the top 2010-11 EL team Maccabi Tel Aviv!
In Euroleague terms, Barça was last seen taking out BiE’s current no. 1 team on The Continent, Montepaschi Siena, in a 73-72 thriller.
That was on December 23rd and marked the Blaugrana’s second straight win after the L. Rytas loss, a defeat that marks the last suffered by Barcelona. This was on December 16 – and last year never seemed so far away, as evidenced by this clip in which the emphasis is on the matchup between Señor Rubio and current Fenerbahçe Ülker guard Šarūnas Jasikevičius.
Saras had his way with the lad on offense, going for 11 points and 10 assists in the win; Rubio was his usual wily self despite getting far fewer touches in the game but immolated in the fourth quarter, missing a potentially game-tying free throw (his first miss of the match) and fouling out in the final seconds.
Barça’s streak going into Thursday’s meeting at the Palau is at seven games, with the last win a tight 78-75 victory over a Lagun Aro led by Andy Panko (he of a cup of coffee with the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, though BiE will always remember him as a member of the sadly short-lived Albuquerque Slam) and his 19-point effort.
Still questionable for the Maccabi match is BiE fave Pete Mickael. Mickael’s on the active Euroleague roster right now, but did not play in the Lagun Aro game.
Still not excited? Here’s the official teaser for the game. FC Barcelona-Maccabi Tel Aviv tips off on Thursday at 8.45pm CET (2.45 EST).