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07.01.2009 21:34

Confirmed as group leaders (64-76)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barça have won on the road at Asseco Prokom, their game improving immensely after a weak first period, and they are now out and out leaders of Group B.

Regal FC Barcelona wanted to win this game to ensure they top Euroleague Group B and thus avoid the other top seeds in the Top 16 draw. With one game yet to play, they have confirmed top spot after winning away to the always tricky Asseco Prokom.

Cold start

GYI0056438239.jpgIt was warm enough inside the arena, but there were temperatures below zero outside in the Polish evening, which caused plenty of problems, with the game almost being delayed when the match officials were held up by the freezing weather. They eventually arrived in the nick of time.

Regal Barça were there on time, but it was the way they started the game that was worryingly cold. Ilyasova opened the scoring with a three, but Ewing and Logan showed that the home side could also draw upon resources, and soon led 13-6. Pascual called a time out to repair the early damage, but the period ended 20-12.

Barça react

As the minutes ticked by, the visitors started playing with more intensity, and it was in defence that they particularly started to shine. Six minutes into the second period, Regal Barça led again, mainly thanks to some terrific plays by Roger Grimau (25-30).

Even Jaka Lakovic got some time on court. The Slovenian had not played since getting injured against Panathinaikos.

Barça managed to maintain their lead as the game reached the interval (35-40).

Prokom go for it

GYI0056437950.jpgTomas Pacesas’ side needed to pull out all the shots and made their pounce shortly after the restart. David Logan and Daniel Ewing combined to put the Poles back in command. But Barça weren’t going to be caught out that easily. Two three pointers for Basile, a 2+1 completed by Barton off a Víctor Sada assist and a score from David Andersen ended the third period with the Catalans ten ahead.

Defence wins the game

GYI0056438258.jpgAs the game headed towards its climax, Regal Barça held on to the lead by upping the ante in defence. Andre Barrett, meanwhile, helped extended the lead with a three pointer to make it 59-73, followed by a smash by Fran Vázquez (59-75). A later score by Jordi Trias (59-76) rounded things off nicely, just as Vázquez was fouled out and Pascual opted to give some time on court to Xavi Rey.

Asseco Prokom end game at 64-76

The basketball team was fully deserving of this top place in Group B. Next week the Palau welcomes Zalgiris, but Barça have already done the hard work and can now just enjoy themselves as they take on the Lithuanians.
Photos: Getty Images
Photos: Getty Images

Asseco Prokom (20+15+13+16): Logan (19), Zamojski (9), Burrell (8), Burke (13), Ewing (11) – starting five – Archibong (2), Dylewicz (2), Nesovic (-), Hrycaniuk (-)

Regal FC Barcelona (12+28+18+18): Basile (9), Trias (4), Ilyasova (14), Sada (-), Santiago (2) – starting five – Barrett (8), Barton (4) Lakovic (3), Andersen (12), Rey (-), Vázquez (6), Grimau (14)

Referees: Koukoulekidis (GRE), Cerebuch (ITA) and Jovcic (SRB)

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