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23.01.2008 22:48

A bittersweet celebration (75-77)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça were unable to shake off Lottomatica’s offensive accuracy though they came close to clinching a win in the final minutes. However, two free throws from Rodrigo de la Fuente ended Barça’s hopes.

AXA Barça’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of European competition was spoilt by a good performance from Lottomatica. The win at the Palau has qualified the team from Rome for the Top 16.

Good recovery

_P4A0133.jpgThe Italians, with Hawkins well in control, put themselves on the winning path in the opening minutes. Barça fought back but Dusko Ivanovic had to call Time Out with the scoreboard at 8-14 to stop the situation from getting worse. His team reacted well to finish the first quarter 22-25.

The second quarter went Barça’s way and the score was levelled at 28 points. At the break, AXA Barça led by four points (39-35).

Barça react

The Barça players produced their best form of the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter, Pepe Sánchez brought the Palau fans to their feet with a fantastic effort but the king of assists, like the rest of the team, found himself restricted by the visitors’ tough defensive play.


Lottomatica were impressive in their attacking play, taking 7 from 9 three-pointers (78%) in the final 20 minutes. Roko Leni Ukic, Gabini (three consecutive throws) and Hawkins pulled back a 42-35 lead to 44-43 before Allan Ray, surely one of Lottomatica’s most talented players, established a 48-54 advantage.

Too much urgency

QM3D7981.jpgBarça reacted well in the final minutes as Grimau and Basile forced Repesa to call his first Time Out with the scoreboard at 70-66 with 3 minutes and 20 seconds left on the clock.

The Lottomatica players kept their nerve while Barça sacrificed accuracy for urgency. Ray opened a gap of three points (70-73) with just 16 seconds left.

The visitors broke the flow of the game while Barça continued to put speed above calm. Meanwhile, De la Fuente converted two decisive free throws.

However, with the score standing at 74-77, Barça were still in with a shout. Lakovic converted his first free throw (75-77) but missed the second and the rebound fell to Basile, who failed to sink the shot despite a helping hand from Grimau.

On Saturday, AXA Barça play host to DKV Joventut in a vital test to break a losing streak against one of the in-form teams in the ACB.
A bittersweet celebration (75-77)

Basile (14), Trias (6), Lakovic (8), Vázquez (12), Acker (11) –starting five- Sánchez (5), Marconato (7), Hernández (-), Rabaseda (-), Ilyasova (6), Moncasi (-), Grimau (6)

Lottomatica Roma
Lorbek (8), Ray (12), Ukic (12), Gabini (11), Hawkins (22) –starting five- Gkagkaloudis (-), Fucka (2), Tonolli (-), De la Fuente (10), Bagnolli (-)

Partials: 22-25; 17-10; 17-25; 19-17

Referees: Pitsilkas, Mouzakis and Drabikovsky

Click here to access the official game statistics

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