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26.01.2008 21:57

Improved Barça beat ‘La Penya’ (85-74)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça won the Catalan derby with an excellent performance that put an end to a run of five straight defeats. Grimau and Ilyasova were especially strong.

The basketball team have ended a traumatic week in good form. They needed a win to restore lost pride and did so against a very strong DKV Joventut.

Big clash

qm3d9507.jpgDKV Joventut opened the scoring through Eduardo Hernández-Sonseca, but that was one of the few times they would lead in the whole match. Barça defended well and aggressively, and started making it hard for the Badalona based side to do the things it usually does so well. Only four minutes into the game, and Barça were already into a seven point lead (11-4).

And that was just the start of it. Barça eased off a little, and DKV Joventut and especially Rudy Fernández pounced on the chance to regain the original two point advantage at 18-20.

Barça tighten defence

In the second period the presence of Roger Grimau, Pepe Sánchez and Ersan Ilyasova lifted Barcelona and their aggression in defence proved the key. Pepe Sánchez laid two assists on for the captain to send Barça into a 32-23 lead.

After a timeout called by Aíto García Reneses, Joventut started becoming aware of the constant threats being caused by Barça.

Ilyasova was firing on all cylinders, the Turk claiming a three to end the half at 49-37.

Offensive deficit

qm3d9779.jpgNeither side started the third period well, with just a triple from Rudy Fernández being added to the score.

Barça seemed to be getting most of the play though, although two consecutive scores for Lubos Barton dragged Joventut back to within a recoupable distance 53-49.

Final effort

The last part of the game was extraordinary. Grimau and Ricky Rubio were both scoring for their respective sides and the score moved to 59-56, with AXA Barça once again having the edge.

Two minutes later and Rubio was battling with Ilyasova for points from beyond the three point line, but Barça stayed three up.

qm3d9823.jpgThen it was time for Jaka Lakovic and Rudy Fernández to strut their stuff, and although the scores built up, the three point margin remained intact: 73-70.

There was more to come. Ersan Ilyasova slammed home a spectacular dunk to delight a full house in the Palau (7,025 people) than chanted the name ‘Ilyasova, Ilyasova' in unison.

It was as good as game over. Grimau was fouled out on 23 points (9/10 in field goals), with three rebounds, two assists and two steals, plus five fouls committed and four received. His evaluation of 26 is his highest ever in the ACB for Barça.

He was replaced by Albert Moncasi, who closed the day’s play at 85-74.

Group celebrations

qm3d9365.jpgBoth players and coaches alike were in a buoyant mood after a game in which everything finally fell back into place. All the players surrounded Mario Kasun, who had watched the game from the sidelines, but was included in a triumphant group celebration at the end of a very important win.
Improved Barça beat ‘La Penya’ (85-74)

Basile (14), Trias (6), Lakovic (13), Vázquez (2), Acker (2) – starting five – Sánchez (-), Marconato (11), Ilyasova (12), Moncasi (2), Grimau (23)

DKV Joventut
Fernández (27), Rubio (13), Barton (5), Herdández-Sonseca (5), Moiso (4) – starting five – Ribas (2), Baxter (-), Jagla (5), Popovic (4), Laviña (3), Mallet (6)

Periods: 18-20; 31-17; 4-12; 32-25

Referees: De la Maza, Guirao and Cortés

Click here to view the official match stats.

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