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06.11.2008 22:30

The leadership goes (71-61)

Carles Cascante

Regal FC Barcelona have been defeated by reigning Italian champions Motepaschi Siena in a game that was closely contested until the home team moved clear in the final quarter to clinch the Group B victory.

A poor fourth period saw the Blaugrana's hopes of coming away with a win come to and end. The first three quarters of the game were not outstanding, but Barša appeared to have control of the Italians' offensive options before they let that slip. Domercant and Lavrinovic were the key players in Montepaschi's sudden resurgence as they helped their side to a 19-4 streak.

Close game

GYI0056124064.jpgIn what was expected to be a close meeting, both Barša and Montepaschi were evenly matched in the first half. The Italians were slightly more on their game in the first quarter as they went in two points ahead at 18-16. Former Blaugrana player, Romain Sato, was one of the more impressive performers for the home side as he netted eleven points before the break. Despite a triple from Ilyasova began well but then saw Sato and Domercant come into the game and see their team enjoy long periods of possession. A free throw from Juan Carlos Navarro ensured that things remained tight and kept the Blaugrana to within two points of their opponents before the first turnaround.

Very even encounter

Things did not change much in the second period with the only really positive outcome being that Barša won it 14-18 and went into the half-time interval leading 32-34. Both sides could not find a way to move clear because there were constant interruptions and the scoring remained low. Barša did deserve some credit for ensuring that they stayed on terms as Paschal had said before going to Italy for the game that his plan was to stop Montepaschi quick movement of the ball by using an powerful defence and that did work. Ilyasova netted eight points and was in good form all over the court, but Barša's lead was reduced just before the interval when Lavrinovic sank to free-throws.

Best period

GYI0056123598.jpgBarša enjoyed their best period in the third quarters. A basket from Navarro made it 32-38 and the visitors began to consider that they could come away from the game as victors. Ilyasova then made the difference eight points, but that was the moment when Montepaschi began to pull themselves back into things and McIntyre came into his own. But that did not last long because Andersen sank two consecutive baskets and the dream was back on at 43-51 and even a two-pointer just before the close could not dampen the away team's spirits heading into the fourth period.

Home team comeback

The last quarter was all about Montepaschi though as they recorded an incredible run of 19-4 which put them 62-55 ahead overall and left Barcelona playing catch-up when they had appeared to be in control. The movement of Lavrinovic caused the most concern for the visitors while Domercant also played well going forward as he continued to sink triples. In the end the gap widened to ten points and the Blaugrana were unable to do anything to close it and pull themselves back into things.
Fotos: Euroleague.
Fotos: Euroleague.
Match stats

Montepaschi Siena (18+14+13+26): McIntyre (10), Sato (11), Domercant (19), Eze (2), Stonerook (-) - starting five -, Kaukenas (8), K.Lavrinovic (12), Lechtaler (-), Finley (9) y Ress (-).

Regal FC Barcelona (16+18+17+10): Lakovic (12), Navarro (7), Barton (5), Ilyasova (14), Santiago (-) – starting five-, Vßzquez (11), Basile (3), Barrett (2), Grimau (-), Andersen (7), Sada (-) y Trias (-).

Referees: Brazauskas (LIT), Belosevic (SRB) and Zamojski (POL). Dismissed: Stonerook (m.38).

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