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28.12.2007 22:30

Another successful game against Madrid (84-65)

Sònia de Alba

AXA Barça have yet again spectacularly beaten Real Madrid, this time in the ACB league. Ivanovic’s side were in inspirational form and dominated the game from start to finish, never giving the Whites any chance.

Once again the basketball team pulled off another dream game against their lifelong rivals. After their victory in the Euroleague, Barça have once again beaten Real Madrid who lost possession too easily and when they tried to turn things around were unable to do so. The victory changes things at the top of the ACB table with DKV Joventut, Iurbentia Bilbao, Real Madrid and AXA Barça all level.

Concentration and defence

qm3d8708.jpgAXA FC Barcelona started the game by closing down in defence. Despite Madrid’s first attacks on the azulgrana basket, Lakovic hit a three-pointer for 7-4 after a Real Madrid miss. From then on Barça made the most of Real Madrid’s mistakes to build a lead of eight points during the first quarter.

Mario Kasun excelled in the key smashing in two consecutive slam dunks to see out the first quarter 21-15.

Basile everywhere

The second quarter saw the emergence of Basile. If the Italian was excelling in defence against the smaller players, like Louis Bullock, then the guard played his part in a 36-26 lead. Previously, two consecutive steals were capitalised on by Trias and Grimau respectively to build a 16 point lead during the first half.

Madrid – losing ground

qm3d8994.jpgThere were also moments of unease for the azulgranas. Felipe Reyes, Axel Hervelle and Raúl López forced Dusko Ivanovic to call for timeouts only two and a half minutes into the restart. But Barça once again stretched their lead. Firstly with some excellent passing that had the Palacio on their feet and then, with his second three-pointer, ‘Baso’ put the score at 52-35. Gianluca Basile was on court for 39:06 minutes, in which time he not only scored 23 points without missing any two-pointer and with 3 from 11 three-pointers, he also closed off his opponents.

Lakovic was also to the fore. Assisting Jordi Trias and with another three-pointer, the Slovenian scored 22 points for the home side.

Real Madrid had no answers. Despite trying to make up the difference, their efforts were in vain. Men like Papadopoulos finished with 0 points. You have to put this down to the titanic efforts of Marconato, Trias and Kasun, who worked tirelessly in defence. The Italian centre was also accurate with his shooting. 6/6 for the Barça number 9.

Rebounds gave some hope to the Whites but they were left completely deflated when a Lakovic three-pointer then had the home crowd cheering every pass. Nearing the final hooter the AXA fans were celebrating at 82-65. The game finished with two points from the free throw line for another personal foul.

The Palacio supporting their team

qm3d9066.jpgThe Azulgrana have never failed on days like this. 7,416 people filled the stadium and supported their team all the way. There was an azulgrana mosaic, chants, screams and everything else in support of their players. “The players deserved it for the work and commitment they made”, said Ivanovic who added “you don’t need much else to motivate you for these types of games”.

Sensible against Menorca

An important victory like this one, which changes the top of the ACB table with four teams level on 11-3, has to be properly absorbed. The best way is “to be mentally strong” in Menorca, commented Dusko Ivanovic in his press conference. . This opinion was shared by the players. “We have the precedent of the game against Cajasol after winning against Madrid here in the Euroleague”, recalled Basile and marconato. Barça leave for Menorca on Saturday at midday to play their final game of 2007. This will be on Sunday at 12.30 against ViveMenorca.
Another successful game against Madrid (84-65)

AXA FCB: Basile (23), Marconato (14), Lakovic (11), Vázquez (4), Acker (-) –starting five - Sánchez (2), Trias (9), Ilyasova (-), Moncasi (-), Kasun (10), Grimau (11)

Real Madrid: Sekulic (6), Reyes (16), Mumbrú (7), Bullock (8), López (2) – starting five - Pelekanos (-), Smith (12), Aguilar (-), Papadopoulos (-), Hervelle (3), Tunçeri (11), Llull (-)

Quarters: 21-15; 21-14; 22-13; 20-23.

Referees: Hierrezuleo, Perea and Martínez Díez.

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