Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


12.03.2008 22:38

Down to the wire (68-63)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça just failed to clinch a place in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague in Rome, losing against direct rivals Lottomatica. Next week’s game against group winners CSKA in the Palau will be the decider.

Coach Xavi Pascual and his players will have to earn a place in the quarterfinals by beating CSKA in the Palau next Thursday. The Russians beat another of Barça’s direct rivals for the coveted second spot in Group G, Unicaja (93-70), to confirm their presence in the last eight. As Barça hold the tie-break advantage against both Unicaja and Lottomatica, a win against the group winners will see them safely through to the quarterfinals.

Club president Joan Laporta and the director responsible for AXA Barça, Josep Cubells, saw their team start weakly and eventually succumb to a 68-63 defeat.

Weak start

David Hawkins gave the Romans an 8-0 opening lead with little opposition from the Barça players. The gap opened to +12 (30-18) with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

Steady work

80185690MC003_Euroleague_Ba.JPGHowever, Barça recovered in the second quarter and began to inch their way back into the game as Ersan Ilyasova and Roger Grimau started to contain the Italian attack. Lorbek – 10 points in the first half – took over from Hawkins in inflicting the most damage on the visitors.

For Barça, Ilyasova and Grimau proved the most troublesome for the Italians with the Turkish star’s layup making it 33-30 at the break.

Barça take the lead

In the opening 13 minutes of the second half, Trias and Grimau dominated the scoring and eventually put AXA Barça into the lead.

Despite their limitations, Lottomatica kept their nerve but a foul on Roger Grimau gave the visitors the chance to take the lead for the first time in the game. The Barça captain sealed two three-pointers to send his team into the final quarter with scoreboard showing a promising 46-50.

Lottomatica stand firm

Gary Neal joined in with a three-pointer before a Sánchez layup that left Barça looking good at 54-61 with just five minutes on the clock.

Ukic and Jaaber strengthened the Romans and in less than two minutes Lottomatica drew level. Fran Vázquez fouled out and Barça slipped behind by 4 points (65-61) with 27 seconds left.

The free throws in the final seconds left Lottomatica with a 68-63 victory.

Triple tie

AXA Barça are still second in the group behind CSKA. They are tied with Unicaja (second) and Lottomatica (third) with all three teams accumulating two wins and three defeats.

In the final round, Barça receive CSKA in the Palau while Lottomatica travel to Malaga to face Unicaja. AXA Barça hold the tie-break advantage over both of their rivals, which means that a win against the Russians will guarantee them a place in the quarterfinals. The game will take place next Thursday (20th March) in the Palau at 7 pm.
Down to the wire (68-63)

Lottomatica: Lorbek (16), De la Fuente (3), Ukic (14), Gabini (3), Hawkins (11) – starting five –Fucka (7), Tonolli (-), Stefansson (8), Crosariol (-), Jaaber (2)

AXA FC Barcelona: Basile (-), Sánchez (2), Trias (14), Acker (-), Kasun (2) – starting five – Marconato (1), Lakovic (-), Neal (8), Vázquez (2), Ilyasova (9), Moncasi (-), Grimau (18)

End of quarter scores: 22-12; 11-18; 13-20; 22-13

Referees: Sudek, Christodoulous and Rocha.

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

Basketball News

Back to top
Top of page