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07.02.2008 23:14

Out in first round (70-69)


AXA FC Barcelona are out of the Copa del Rey after losing 70-69 to Iurbentia Bilbao in the quarter finals. In the other game, Tau beat Unicaja.

There had been high hopes for Barça after drawing this year’s surprise outfit in the quarter finals of the mid-season knockout championship. But Txus Vidorreta’s side was simply better in the second and third periods, while the first was tied on 24 each. The Basque side are into the last four of a Copa del Rey for the first time ever. American Gary Neal did not get to make his debut in a Barça shirt, while there was bad news for Recker, who put his back out. Jordi Trias led the Barcelona scoring.

Even start

Iurbentia, acting as the home side, started furiously. Ex Badalona stars Marcelinho Huertas and Paco Vázquez led the early play, the Brazilian guard in particularly surprising form. But to this point Dusko Ivanovic’s side, led on court by Argentinian Pepe Sánchez were able to keep control as the score was tied at the end of the opening quarter.

Loss of pace

The second and third periods lacked such intensity. Barça were struggling to get their balance between attack and defence, but dominated offensive rebounds. Trias ended the first half on ten points, but nobody could match him, with the Weis-Marcelinho partnership damaging too many plays. Ivanovic tried a variety of combinations, but nothing seemed to be producing the ball game he wanted, and the half ended 39-34 to Bilbao.

Both sides tried to up the pace after the break. But Iurbentia had a stunning Txus Vidorreta in their ranks, and moved up to 48-41 with just over a minute to play. The third period would eventually end 52-46 in their favour.

Exciting end

The final period produced the most thrills. Iurbentia moved into a ten point lead (66-56), but three pointers served for AXA FC Barcelona to cut down that advantage, with Lakovic finally coming into his own. His two triples made it 70-69, but there was no time for anything more. Jordi Trias was Barça’s top player with 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Lakovic had 22 points.
Out in first round (70-69)

Iurbentia Bilbao: Huertas (18), Recker (8), Banic (6), Vázquez (6), Weis (11) –starting five-, Savovic (4), Salgado (3), Lewis (9) and Rancik (5).

AXA FC Barcelona: Lakovic (22), Acker (3), Basile (5), Trias (18), Marconato (6) – starting five -, Vázquez (2), Neal (4), Grimau (6), Ilyasova (-), Kasun (2).

Periods: 24-24; 15-10; 13-12; 18-23

Referees: Amorós, Hierrezuelo and Jiménez

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