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13.10.2007 23:35

Excellent home debut (81-64)

Sònia de Alba

AXA FC Barcelona beat Estudiantes by a 17-point margin in the Palau on Saturday in an entertaining game of basketball. Some accurate attacking play in the first half and an improvement in defence in the second were the keys to the victory.

Barça had to stop Estudiantes from playing their game and not only did they achieve this but they also proved to be ruthless in attack. Barça started powerfully and soon built up a 27-17 lead.

Basile the reference point

Gianluca Basile had an excellent game. The Italian guard used the speed of the Barça attack to find space and score – he finished as the game’s top scorer with 21 points and a valuation of 24.

qm3d8259.jpgBut there were plenty of other positives to the game. Jordi Trias was a nightmare for the visitors taking 9 defensive rebounds. Fran Vázquez powered in a slam-dunk at the end of the first quarter and followed up with two more in the game. Mario Kasun also made his presence felt despite carrying a back problem from the European Championships.

Ilyasova and Morandais in support

The gap widened to a maximum of 18 points with Estudiantes powerless to stop the onslaught. For the visitors, Florent Pietrus and Javier Beirán tried to react but even two practically consecutive three-pointers from Beirán weren’t enough to unsettle Barça, though Estudiantes narrowed the gap to 49-40.

Michel Morandais and Ersan Ilyasova were very active. The Turkish international played 18 minutes and scored 10 points, including two three-pointers. Morandais was also accurate, converting 5 of 7 from the 6.25m line.

Solid improvement

QM3D8494.jpgAXA Barça closed the third quarter 66-49 and despite conceding a 15-point draw in the final quarter, remained comfortably in control the entire game. Although Estudiantes are not the force of previous seasons, the general impression was of a solid quality performance from Barça.

Acker and Grimau nearly ready

Youngsters Nihat Djedovic and Alex Hernández had a few minutes on court as did Albert Moncasi.

There’s more good news with Alex Acker and Roger Grimau looking set to rejoin the squad in the next few days after overcoming their injury problems.
Excellent home debut (81-64)

AXA Barça (27+22+17+15): Lakovic (1), Basile (21), Ilyasova (10), Trias (12), Marconato -initial team-, Pepe Sánchez, Morandais (15), Vázquez (12), Kasun (10), Moncasi, Djedovic and Hernández

MMT Estudiantes (17+16+16+15): Sergio Sánchez (2), Urtasun (8), Jasen (6), Larry Lewis (9), Young (10) -initial team-, Gonzalo Martínez (3), Pietrus (11), Lorbek (3), Clark and Beirán (12)

Referees: Pérez, Conde y Leal.

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