Regal FC Barcelona was crowned the 2010 Euroleague Champions this weekend, not by out-scoring their opponents, but by locking down and playing tough defense.
In taking down Olympiacos, the top scoring team in the Euroleague this season, Barcelona put on a defensive showcase. Barcelona held the Reds to their lowest scoring output of the season at just 68 points. Fran Vasquez patrolled the paint for Barca with four of the team’s eight blocks as they took the crown with an 86-68 victory.
Josh Childress and Linas Kleiza had 15 and 13 points, respectively, for the Reds, but they just weren’t enough. In addition, Euroleague regular season MVP, Milos Teodosic, was held to just six field goal attempts as he posted 10 points in the loss.
Barcelona not only played outstanding defense, but continued to score in a variety of ways. Final Four MVP Juan Carlos Navarro, also known as “La Bamba,” led the Barcelona attack with a game-high 21 points, shooting 4-9 from beyond the arc.
Navarro represents the epitome of Barca basketball as he grew up in the program and has won multiple championships with the team. After being drafted by the Grizzlies in 2002, Navarro opted to stay in Spain until the 2007-2008 season. During that season in Memphis, he averaged over 10 points per game and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
However, a multi-million dollar offer to return to Barcelona was too good to pass up and he returned to his homeland for the 2008-2009 season. Now, Navarro is enjoying his MVP status and his role as the hometown hero.