A renewed Panathinaikos puts Barça to the test without Mirotic

The Montenegrin player, positive for COVID-19, is in quarantine and will not play tomorrow or in the next three commitments for the Barça team.


What injuries did not achieve last season, had two and minors that prevented him from playing three games, has been achieved by COVID-19, since Nikola Mirotic, the player that Barça announced, last day 11, with a positive coronavirus - he did not reveal his name because the club's medical protocol prevents it from being disclosed if the player does not give permission. And he revealed it himself on Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

At least four games will be missed. After not playing in Valencia on Tuesday, he will not play today Thursday against Panathinaikos, also in the Champions League, nor on Sunday, the 18th, in the Endesa League on the Baskonia court, on the 20th at the Palau against Gipuzcoa, although it could do so on the 23rd in a Euroleague match, again at the Palau, against Real Madrid.

In this situation, the Catalans receive a Panathinaikos where the current Barcelona coach was considered an idol. In four seasons in Athens he won the 2009 Euroleague and three League titles and the Greek Cup.

Leaving aside emotional issues, Jasikevicius already pointed out after the match in Valencia (66-71) that "whoever is missing from the team all the other players know that they must take a step forward in helping to cover that absence" .

And that was perfectly understood by the Latvian Roland Smits. Saras gave him the opportunity, he started in the starting five and had the best game since he arrived at Barça: 15 points without failure, 7 rebounds and a PIR of 23.In addition, a 'warrior' starting five with Hanga, Smits, Claver, Davies and Higgins kept the Valencian offense at bay and they all contributed something positive with great defense. In addition, although, testimonially, Kyle Kuric has already returned and the young Sergi Martínez made his Euroleague debut.

With these weapons, Panathinaikos will be measured tomorrow (9:00 pm), who arrives in Barcelona with a victory and a defeat in the two games they have played. The third that was to play on Tuesday against the French ASVEL has been postponed by COVID-19 in the French team.

The Athenian squad has renewed its squad with ten new signings and the 'eternal' assistant on the bench Georgios Vovoras makes his debut as head coach.

His best assets at the start of the season are the Greek forward Ioannis Papapetrou (15 points and 5.5 rebounds), the American guard Marcus Foster (12.5 and 3.5), signed from the Israeli Holon and the Greek guard Eleftherios Bochoridis ( 10 and 3) and center Konstantin Mitoglou (7.5 rebounds on average), signed from Aris.

They are joined by Greek-American power forward Zach Auguste (Galatasaray), Serbian guard Nemanja Nedovic, former Valencia and Unicaja, from Olímpia Milan, and Cuban forward Howard Sant-Roos, signed from CSKA Moscow.

They started winning on the Kimkhi court (76-78) and on the second day they lost at home to their eternal rival, Olympiacos (71-78); a renewed team and a true unknown.

Photos from as.com
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