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16.05.2008 22:20

First play-off ends in Barça victory (75-64)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça has won in their first ACB quarter final play-off. The “blaugranes” dominated after a tense first half.

AXA Barça didn’t show their true self till the second half of the game, when they were able to make various counter-attacks thanks to the intimidation of tall guys Fran Vázquez, Mario Kasun and Ersan Ilyasova. The 14 points Barça won from transition moves were lethal, and when the Barça defence is strong, few teams can match their pace.

Iurbentia don’t give up

But before this happened, Bilbao Basket were very much in the game. Barça got off to a good start, getting to a 12-5 lead by the fourth minute, but Txus Vidorreta’s men came back, and thanks to Marcelinho Huertas and Marko Banic’s work, they pulled the score back to 13-15 by the end of the first quarter.

The Brazilian players work for Iurbentia gave their side a five-point lead (20-25), but Barça pulled back thanks to Jaka Lakovic and Fran Vázquez’s work in defence, and the second quarter ended at 32-33.

Increasing the pressure

qm3d0273.jpgWhatever was said in the dressing room during the break must have worked, and Iurbentia came back on to find a stronger Barça defence and a more effective attack. Barça got a succession of quick points and gained confidence. The Basque team was unable to overcome the onslaught, and the work of Ilyasova and Kasun, who helped take the score to its widest gap during the game (71-55). Iubentia closed the game with to free throws from Savovic to make it 75-64.

Off to Bilbao

The first team flies to Bilbao today, where they’ll train on Iurbentia’s La Casilla court this afternoon. Curiously, AXA Barça has never played there before. Previous games between Catalans and Basques have been held at the Biscaia Exhibition Centre in Barakaldo, close to Bilbao.

The game will be held on Sunday at 19:00.

The other play-offs

DKV Joventut beat Akasvayu at home in Badalona 85-72, and Baskònia beat Pamesa 87-79. Real Madrid plays Unicaja Malaga today, having lost the first game. If Unicaja win, Madrid will be out.
First play-off ends in Barça victory (75-64)

AXA FCB: Basile (5), Sánchez (-), Marconato (2), Ilyasova (8), Acker (7) – initial five – Trias (-), Lakovic (20), Neal (2), Vázquez (8), Moncasi (-), Kasun (11), Grimau (12)

Iurbentia Bilbao Basket: Huertas (12), Recker (5), Banic (13), Lewis (4), Ilic (4) – initial five – López (-), Zengotitabengoa (-), Savovic (11), Salgado (5), Weis (2), Vázquez (3), Pasalic (5)

Quarters: 13-15 / 19-18 / 19-14 / 24-17

Referees: García Ortiz, Conde and Sánchez Montserrat

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