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22.11.2007 22:40

AXA Barša team up to beat Madrid (73-62)

S˛nia de Alba

AXA FC Barcelona maintained their impressive run in the Euroleague as they defeated old rivals Real Madrid in the Palau Blaugrana with Alex Acka the outstanding player in the game.

To defeat Madrid, the Blaugrana had to ensure that they committed the minimum number of errors and they appeared to have learned their lesson from earlier in the season as they won the opening Clßsico of the campaign. The first two quarters were key to the development of the game as Dusko Ivanovic's side gelled superbly as they applied real pressure in defence and showed great accuracy up front.

A united front

With those ground rules in place, the home team forced Madrid coach Joan Plaza to call for a time out with five minutes remaining in the first period. AXA Barša were 11-4 ahead, but the situation became even more critical for the visitors.

QM3D8776.jpgLazaros Papadopoulos and Felipe Reyes were not enjoying themselves and Charles Smith came on to replace ┴lex Mumbr˙ on the flank. Even Louis Bullock was changed as Kerem Tunšeri entered the fray as Madrid continued to chase the game. It made no difference, however, as Barša went in at the first break 24-13 up.

The difference quickly stretched to 19 points (34-15) within four minutes of the second quarter starting as the Blaugrana began superbly as they showed concentration and managed to prevent Madrid dangermen from finding their range.

Despite that, the visitors did not collapse completely and bounced back to pull themselves to within one point of Barša (24-23) within a few minutes. That resilience sparked the hosts back into action they regained a 12-point cushion to go in at half-time 48-36 in front.

Triple trouble

Failure to score from triple shots in recent games has been a problem for Barša and it raised its head once again in this encounter. The home team were unable to increase their lead even further and allowed Madrid to stay within range.

Acker makes an impact

QM3D8615.jpgAt the start of the fourth quarter it appeared that Madrid were going to gain the upper hand as an unsporting foul by Mario kasun took some of the sting out Ivanovic's side, but the coach made a swift decision. Acker was thrown on and the American lost little time in making a real impact. The impetus was back in the Blaugrana side and Denis Marconato was finding the basket as the game began to escape Madrid's clutches. Acker and Jaka Lakovic then netted triples as the Palau burst into life conce again. The 73-62 scoreline at the end saw Barša maintain their unbeaten record at home and took them one step closer to the Top 16.

Among the 7,311 spectators watching the game in the Palay were Bojan Krkic, Marc Crosas and Albert Jorquera as well as stars of the club's other teams. Joan Laporta was also present in the directors' box.

Click here to see to the official statistics of the game
AXA Barša team up to beat Madrid (73-62)
Match stats

AXA Barša (24+24+6+19): Basile (13), Marconato (6), Lakovic (14), Vßzquez (7), Ilyasova (2) -initial team- Sßnchez (2), Trias (8), Moncasi (-), Morandais (4), Acker (9), Kasun (6), Grimau (2)

Reial Madrid (13+23+15+11): Reyes (16), Papadopoulos (4), Mumbr˙ (6), Bullock (14), Llull (2) -initial team- Hamilton (2), Pelekanos (-), Smith (2), Sekulic (-), Hervelle (6), Tunšeri (3), Lˇpez (7)

Referees: Pitsilkas (GRE), Belosevic (SCM) and Gontas (GRE)

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