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22.05.2008 23:33

A win away from the final (90-93)

Verònica Díez

AXA Barça are one win away from the ACB Final after beating DKV Joventut 90-93. The free throws held the key, especially towards the end of the game, with Acker and Lakovic leading the play.

Game two for Xavi Pascual’s side at the Palau Blaugrana, and a win would put them in the final and guarantee a Euroleague berth next season.

Game one was a tense match, especially the third period, when Barça took command of the scoreboard and led from then on. Not even 40 excellent minutes from Rudy Fernández or an in form Moiso, whose efficiency took a slump in the third, could stop a rampant AXA FC Barcelona.

Moiso and Rudy in connection

basile_dkv_barxa.JPGMoiso and Rudy presented the most problems for the visitors. The DKV Joventut 22 marshalled the Badalona defence, making an important block in the first play of the game from Ilyasova and opening the scoring himself (2-0). But Basile and Ilyasova reacted well to put Barcelona into an early lead.

AXA FC Barcelona only really started pulling away as the period drew to a close but then Rudy Fernández hit a three to set off an 11 point streak for DKV Joventut (24-15). Kasun and Acker pulled things back with two and three points respectively (24-20).

The same story

Ilyasova compensated straight away in the second period to make it 24- but further scores from Rudy Fernández and Barton delighted the Badalona supporters as it went to 30-23. Things got confusing from there on, with Ilyasova with looking like he was leading his team’s charge, but Moiso and Rudy doing the same for DKV Joventut. The Mallorcan completed a seven point streak to put his side nine ahead with two minutes of the half left.

Jaka Lakovic and Gary Neal picked up a few points to keep Barça’s hopes alive (42-38), just as they had done in the first period.

Change of roles

jaka_dkv_barxa.JPGIt was in the third that AXA FC Barcelona came into their own, and especially Kasun, both in offence and defence, while Moiso would not score again all match.

Lakovic tied things for Barça six minutes into the period (52-52), and shortly after scored again to put his side in the lead (52-53). DKV Joventut played it tight at the back but were conceding a number of free throws, with Acker completing FC Barcelona’s ten point streak to finally burst ahead (52-56).

It was nervous stuff for the home side, and the third period ended with them three behind (62-65).

Acker and free throws

Barça improved even more in the final period, Ersan Ilyasova particularly. The Turk was strong in attack but also in rebounds, and was involved in just about every score. Jaka Lakovic also had a great period, and it was the Slovene who gave Barça their biggest lead so far at 62-68. He also scored to make it 62-75, the biggest difference of the match.

It looked like game over, but then Pau Ribas and a free from Moiso equalled affairs with two minutes to play (80-83). Rudy Fernández tightened things further to make it 84-85. A Barça failure to cross into the other half in eight seconds almost cost them the game, but Alex Acker made up with a triple to end all triples, and for DKV Joventut the only hope was to use tactics and try to sneak a tie. But Barça were on their way to beating Shammond Williams’ record of 14 free throws (15). It all ended 90-93, with a desperate three pointer attempt from Rudy Fernández to take the game into overtime failing to hit the target.
A win away from the final (90-93)

DKV Joventut: Fernández (30), Jagla (7), Moiso (20), Noel (2), Mallet (8) – starting five– Ribas (6), Rubio (7), Barton (6), Popovic (-), Hernández-Sonseca (2), Laviña (2)

AXA FCB: Basile (8), Marconato (4), Lakovic (23), Ilyasova (16), Acker (20) – starting five – Sánchez (-), Trias (-), Neal (3), Vázquez (3), Moncasi (-), Kasun (13), Grimau (3)

Partials: 24-20 / 18-18 / 20-17 / 28-28 

Referees: Martín Bertrán, Pérez Pérez and Conde

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