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02.03.2008 14:02

Wrapped up in the last quarter (78-58)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça defeat Akasvayu Girona by 20 points. Apart from a critical moment at the beginning of the third quarter, the blue and reds dominated the match. Teamwork was the key to the final victory.

AXA F.C. Barcelona maintains its good progress. All the players are getting better every day and against Akasvayu they have shown what a tight knit team they have. The game against the team from Gerona required maximum concentration so as not to fall in the trap of stopping only Marc Gasol, the main man in Pedro Martinez’s side.

Barça mark the rhythm

QM3D6537.jpgThe blue and reds began missing the basket and a personal foul on Marc Gasol by Mario Kasun. Straight away, Lakovic cancelled out the three-point advantage that Akasvayu had taken. From this moment till the end of the game, AXA Barça never lost control of the scoreboard.

In spite of this, Xavi Pascual had to deal with a problem that had him troubled. The pivots had quickly accumulated lots of fouls. Kasun was sat down with two personals after only three and a half minutes of the game.

Denis Marconato was his replacement. Ilyasova also came on. Both were able to face up to the talent of Gasol for a few moments.

First big differences

In the second quarter, the presence of Fran Vázquez in attack helped to open up an already important margin. After closing the first qurter with a ‘smash dunk’ served up by Roger Grimau, Vazquez five points consecutively until committing his third personal.

At this moment the blue and reds were winning by 14 points (34-20). Before the break, Marconato and Kasun also committed their third fouls. The rotations of the Barça bench were very effective. Pascual and his aids managed to keep control until the break. Alex Acker finished off a strategy with just 1.7 seconds left for the end of the second, which brought them to 41-29.

Akasvayu’s moment

QM3D6423.jpgBut, at the restart, Akasvayu defended much better and began to score baskets. Victo Sada and Marc Gasol carrying the weight for their team. Arriel McDonald also joined them. Girona scraped back to 49-47.

It was then that Barça stepped up a gear. Even though the inside men still had personals – Ilyasova saw his fourth two and a half minutes from the end of the third – Roger Grimau was very skilful in the last few instants of the quarter. Marconato kept Gasol close, controlling the Catalan pivots game.

Final push

Not being able to turn the score around was the heaviest burden for the Girona team. The physical exhaustion was showing. While Akasvayu were sinking, Barça just grew; Ersan Ilyasova once again put the team ahead by almost 10 points (57-48). Three consecutive moves by the Turkish wing pivot and Grimau forced Pedro Martinez to call time-out (66-53)

The game was already in the bag with almost seven minutes left. But the visitors couldn’t maintain the level that Barça imposed.

Pascual also gave a few minutes play to Albert Moncasi. Although not scoring he was very alert in defence.
Wrapped up in the last quarter (78-58)

AXA FCB: Basile (9), Trias (2), Lakovic (7), Acker (12), Kasun (7),- starting five Sánchez (2), Marconato (7), Neal (2), Ilyasova (9), Moncasi (-), Grimau (10)

Akasvayu Girona: Cvetkovic (3), Sada (15), San Emeterio (7), Gasol (15), Radenovic (3) –starting five– McDonald (8), Nagys (1), Daniels (5), Montáñez (1), Whitfield (-), Middleton (-), Vila (-)

Partials: 21-16; 20-13; 13-19; 24-10

Referees: García Ortiz, García González and Peruga

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