Always the Palau. Scene of so many battles and countless historic moments for Barça, the old pavilion will host next Wednesday the fifth and final Euroleague quarterfinal match between the Blaugrana and Olympiacos. The Barcelona venue will have to work all its magic to completely change the face of Roger Grimau’s team, destroyed in the fourth game in Athens, the one that could already seal the pass to the final four, by a more concentrated and in tune Greek team.

The Barcelona fans were light years away from the competitive version they exhibited in the third match at the Peace and Friendship stadium, which ended with Barcelona’s victory in extra time and with a referee protest from the Hellenes. The Piraeus fans were still hot for that foul on Jabari Parker in the last second of extra time and dedicated a loud whistle to the tournament anthem before kickoff. The fight turned into a party in the stands in just a few minutes.

Barça had a good staging, released after recovering the home court factor. The ball circulated easily. Parker, Laprovittola and Vesely scored after finding good shooting situations. Everything was flowing. On the other hand, Bartzokas’ men began in a grip, looking with vertigo at the precipice of elimination. The local response was Fall and his 2.18 meters, who took over the area with 10 points without failure, the Barcelona fans unable to read the block and continuation. The center kept Olympiacos from being seven points down (12-19) in the first quarter, at which point Barça began to collapse.

The Blaugrana disconnected from the game at the beginning of the second quarter. A fade to black that began with the defense, without tension and unfocused, and continued in attack, with only the lone Parker capable of creating a shot. Some mistakes, under the basket, bordered on the comical. Jokubaitis, Willy Hernangómez and Ricky Rubio, very unwise, with several losses, were swallowed up by the resurgence of Olympiacos, which added soldiers to the cause as the minutes passed.

Canaan opened with a triple, Petrusev and Milutinov scored inside with ease and McKissic ended up lifting the Athenians, rounding off a 17-0 run. Not even an unsportsmanlike controversy for Abrines or an uncalled back field for Williams-Goss served as an excuse. Barça continued on the canvas before the break (53-37) and with no intention of getting up.

Far from reacting after the restart, the Barcelona fans’ performance went from bad to grotesque.

With Williams-Goss and Canaan at the controls, Olympiacos opened the gap beyond 20 points at the beginning of the third quarter (61-37). Total blockade by Barça. In case there was any doubt about the debacle, the former Blaugrana Papanikolaou was in charge of burying any visiting hope with three consecutive triples before the final set (72-48).

By then, Grimau’s team had already resigned from the match, with Darío Brizuela, usually with just a few minutes, in charge of the attack. The Basque mamba was also very erratic in shooting (1/10). Barcelona’s victory in the last quarter was impossible, only honor could be saved. Neither.

Milutinov, Petrusev and McKissic, top scorer with 21 points, continued to deepen the wound mercilessly. The bleeding continued to increase until the final horn of a game to forget for Barça, which has a week to recover from a historic blow. Luckily for the Blaugrana, they will always have the Palau.