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09.03.2008 14:11

Match decided in third quarter (87-70)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça have beaten Ricoh Manresa in a game that was decided after the break. Barça made up for earlier errors and won by a clear 17 points.

Xavi Pascual’s side was able to focus on a difficult game that started with a minute’s silence in honour of former PSOE governor Isaías Carrasco. Ricoh Manresa, a hard fighting side that rarely drops its guard, tried to make the most of their chances, and Barça gave them too many of those in the second period.

Trias and Mario Kasun scored the opening points, but Asselin then responded with no fewer than eight points all of his own. It was a wake-up call for AXA Barça with starter Pepe Sánchez being taken off for Jaka Lakovic. The Slovenian made amends for Barça’s sloppy start and Lakovic soon had the home side back on top (17-16). The first ten minutes ended with Barça four up (21-18).


a00.JPGPepe Sánchez helped Barça to stretch their lead as the break approached (34-21), but this lead proved counter-productive.

Ricoh responded strongly and with Barça making too many mistakes, they came right back into contention.

Asselin continued in a starring role as Manresa registered a 2-11 streak to make it 36-32 after the first twenty.

All decided

a01.JPGThe second period scare saw Barça return more serious, more patient and with more ideas and conviction. Some great team plays proved decisive as Manresa, not for want of trying, starting fading.

AXA Barça went sixteen up as Marconato continued to dominate on the paint (62-46).

That difference was soon 21. Gary Neal enjoyed some great form and gave a tremendous display of his shooting ability. Fran Vázquez thrilled the Palau with a decisive block and then Trias added more Barcelona points to make it 78-57.

It was interesting to see the two Grimau brothers face to face and both leading their respective teams' scoring, with the younger Jordi of Manresa winning that personal battle by one point to finish on 18. The last play of the game saw the Manresa wide player make his fourth three our of four, but Barça ended the clear victors, 87-70.

Messi back again

Leo Messi has been coming to see most Barça basketball games at the Palau Blaugrana, and was well received by the fans, who wished him all the best in these difficult times. One banner in the pavilion wished the Argentinian a speedy recovery.

Leo Messi was also at the Euroleague game against Lottomatica, which was won in comfortable fashion by the side coached by Xavi Pascual (86-57). It seems that Messi’s visits are an inspiration to the team!
Match decided in third quarter (87-70)

AXA FCB: Sánchez (2), Trias (7), Neal (12), Acker (11), Kasun (2) —starting five—, Basile (-), Marconato (6), Lakovic (14), Vázquez (4), Ilyasova (8), Moncasi (4), Grimau (17)

Ricoh Manresa: Martínez (10), Rodríguez (3), Asselin (16), Sánchez (5), Alzamora (-) — starting five —, Grimau (18), Hernández (3), Callahan (2), Rubio (13), Espil (-), Bailey (-), Rey (-)

Periods: 21-18; 15-14; 26-14; 25-24

Referees: Perea, Fernández, García Leal

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