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29.05.2008 23:55

TAU takes first win (64-75)

Anna Segura

TAU Céramica won the first game of the final series in the Liga ACB thanks to a strong display from Splitter who scored 21 points. On Saturday, the Blaugrana will look to level things up when the two meet again in the Palau.

AXA FC Barcelona's good start failed to continue throughout the encounter and the Vitoria-based visitors took full advantage and eased to a comfortable victory. The second quarter was a turning point, in particular, with TAU chalking up their biggest lead of the game when they went 30-46 ahead. Once that advantage was assumed, there were few chances of the Blaugrana making a comeback, even though they did manage to pull to within four points at once stage.

Good start

fcb-tau_playoff_x2x.jpgThe good start made by Xavi Paschal's side looked set to give the home team a platform to build on and they edged in to an 11-2 lead. Lakovic and Acker scored triples and Ilyasova was also heavily involved in the opening minutes of the game. That bright opening only inspired TAU and they came back and drew level before going into the first break a point in the lead at 21-22.

TAU look comfortable

In the second period, Barça's defence looked more vulnerable while TAU looked more comfortable with the ball and that allowed Splitter to begin finding the hoop with great regularity and he ended the half as the top scorer with 13 points. In fact, TAU were dominant to such a regard that netted 13 unanswered points with only six minutes to go before the end of the second quarter. That run helped the away side move 30-46 points clear and only a triple from Grimau allowed Barça to breathe slightly more easily. But in the end the half-time score still left the hosts with so much to do at 32-46.

Barça bounce back

fcb-tau_playoff.jpgAfter the break Barça applied slightly more pressure in defence and that actually caused TAU to make mistakes. The Blaugrana managed to net ten quick point and close to 43-53. Basile and Ilyasova both netted three-pointers and now the gap was closing even more but then in the final seconds of the third period a personal foul by Pepe Sánchez allowed TAU three free shots. Planinic missed tow, but the third left the visitors 51-58 ahead.

Next meeting

At the start of the fourth quarter a triple from Pepe Sánchez saw the gap trimmed to just four points. But Splitter was in fine form and along with Singleton, he ensured that TAU were not going to slip up. Barça were unable to mount a comeback as the visitors held strong and now the Catalan outfit must win at least one of the two games away from home. Before that, however, the two teams meet again on Saturday at 20:00 in the Palau.
TAU takes first win (64-75)

AXA FCB: Basile, Marconato, Lakovic, Ilyasova, Acker – starting team- , Pepe Sánchez, Trias, Neal, Vázquez, Moncasi, Kasun, Grimau.

TAU Ceràmica: Prigioni, Rakocevi, Teletovic, Splinter, Mickeal – starting team- , A. García, Vidal, Planinic, J.Fernández, Jasaitis, Singleton, McDonald

Quarters: 21-22, 11-24 (Half-time), 19-12, 13-17.

Referees: Juan Carlos Arteaga, Miguel Ángel Pérez Pérez, Juan Luis Redondo.

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