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13.01.2008 14:19

Murcia too strong (95-82)

Sònia de Alba

Polaris World Murcia were better than AXA Barça from the first minute. Manolo Hussein’s side left no option for a Barça team that lacked ideas and clarity.

AXA FC Barcelona missed out on the chance to go top of the ACB. At the end of the first half of the season, Dusko Ivanovic’s side are fifth on 12-5. Wearing their change strip in Murcia, Barcelona failed to get a grip on the game and Murcia were simply the better side as they scored an important win to move clear of the relegation zone.

Slow start

The basketball first team was caught napping today, while Murcia hit all the right notes. Polaris World Murcia benefited from a great day for Kammerichs and Hunter as they stormed into a ten point lead. Hunter was to thank for the home side going 20-10 after a mistimed jump from Jaka Lakovic.

Barça looked like they were reacting when Acker banged home five almost consecutive points and Basile ended the first period at 25-21.

Barça wake up

In the next period Polaris World Murcia continued to dominate. Gavel widened the gap to seven (29-23) and then another unforced error could have made matters worse, but Barça seemed to be coming back into the game at last.

Roger Grimau and Lakovic sprung to life in the last minutes of the half, but young Albert Moncasi was also on song with some great fighting for rebounds that consolidated the work of his more senior colleagues.

Marconato palmed home another (31-27), and the Slovene then added two more from the back door (31-29). Hussein called time out, but despite an immediate three from Gavel, Barça were still strong. Grimau put them ahead for the first time with a dunk to make it 34-35. Barça actually went no less than eight ahead, a run that started with Lakovic getting his first triple (36-38).

The stretch included a call for an unsportsmanlike foul on Roger Grimau. The call was rejected at first, and then the referees changed their minds, which led to fierce protests from Hussein, protests that were in vain and the Barça number 44 scored the four throws and Acker then added a three pointer. At half time, Barcelona were suddenly in command at 40-48.

Second half to forget

But all the good work came to nothing after just three minutes. Hunter, Risacher, Kammerichs and Triguero pounced on an unfortunate Barça that only scored 12 in the third period 11 of which were in the last 11 minutes.

With Barça lacking ideas or consistency, Polaris World Murcia found it easy to get back into the game.

At the end of the third it was still just 63-60. But the fourth period was a repeat of the third and the gap widened. A Lakovic triple was only enough to put Barça eight behind (82-74) with two and half minutes on the clock. Murcia then scored another three and the home fans were happy that they had seen enough to start celebrating a win. And with AXA Barça failing to find a response, they had every right to feel that way. Hussein’s side finished the job by going 15 points ahead as Kasun ended the day’s scoring to make the final score 95-82.

Cup draw tomorrow

The 62nd Copa del Rey to be played in Vitoria from February 7 to 10 will include a Barça side that has ended fifth and therefore goes into the tournament unseeded. The quarter final pairings will be decided tomorrow. Barça of course are the reigning champions from last year’s contest in Malaga.
Murcia too strong (95-82)


Triguero (14), Hunter (23), Risacher (9), Thomas (11), Kammerichs (16) –starting five- Gavel (5), Robles (2), Marco (-), Fajardo (9), García (-), Reiner (2), Opacak (4)

Basile (7), Lakovic (22), Vázquez (-), Ilyasova (5), Kasun (7) –starting five –Sánchez (-), Trias (3), Marconato (8), Moncasi (4), Acker (11), Grimau (15)

Periods: 25-21; 15-27; 23-12; 32-22

Referees: Pérez Pérez, Llamazares and Martínez Díez

Click here to view the official match statistics.

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