Adam Hanga rebrands as Barcelona's playmaker

Dec 21, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print
Adam Hanga rebrands as Barcelona's playmaker

FC Barcelona has been struggling all season long at the point guard position because of injuries, as neither Thomas Heurtel nor Kevin Pangos have been able to play a single Euroleague game so far. Additionally, Pau Ribas has dressed up for just three games, having seen just 33:40 minutes on court overall. Even though Barcelona brought in Malcolm Delaney in the summer, Svetislav Pesic has still been forced to move other players from their natural positions to help the team run the offense.

The one who has been helping Pesic the most is Adam Hanga. The Hungarian swingman is not new to the point guard role, as he had been assigned with playmaking tasks at previous clubs Manresa and Baskonia, and even with his national team, but he has never played as point guard so often than this season. Despite that, he has adjusted more than well to his new position - as proved by his performance against FC Bayern Munich on Friday.

Hanga dished a career-high 10 assists – seven of them in the first half- and played a fundamental role on the defensive end too, suffocating Maodo Lo and the rest of Bayern’s point guards every time he stepped on court. But this was not just an occasional good performance at the point, because Hanga has been excelling for a while and can be considered one of the main factors that Barca has climbed atop the standings alongside Real Madrid and Anadolu Efes Istanbul.

Hanga is averaging 4 assists per game so far this season, becoming the top-rated passer in the competition among those who are not 'pure' guards. He showed what he was capable of by handing out 8 assists in just 17:37 against ALBA Berlin in Round 3, and 6 more against Valencia Basket in Round 5. But the most remarkable thing is that he averages 6.5 per game during his team’s current four-game win streak: 6 against Khimki Moscow Region and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, 4 against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and 10 in Munich against Bayern.

It’s no surprise Hanga looked so happy after Friday’s game: “It was another good day, Christmas is coming up and we are happy for this win,” he stated after being asked about his double-double of 10 points and 10 assists. His team-oriented mentality was also proved when he added: “The most important thing is that we won the game, especially on the road. We have to collect these important wins because we know that at the end it’s going to count for a lot.”