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08.10.2008 22:59

Third quarter the key in second win (58-78)

Carles Cascante

Regal Barça stay top of the Liga ACB after a clear victory in Murcia. But despite the final result, Barça did not have the best of first halves, though it all came good in the third.

Jaka Lakovic, with 18 points and an evaluation of 28 led the team in a game in which the second half reaction was what made the difference. But the thrills were provided by Fran Vázquez, who ended the game on 16 points, 12 of which were slams. The other outstanding contributor was Roger Grimau who as usual provided grit and leadership at the times they were needed most.

Poor opening

Andersen_a_Mxrcia.JPGThe first and second quarters were somewhat irregular for Xavi Pascual’s side. CB Murcia were sharper and seemed confident of overturning the ACB pacesetters. But the game started coolly, and it took two minutes for either side to score. That was Fajardo. Four minutes later and Regal Barça had gone to +7 (2-9) which was followed by a steal and a three from Jaka Lakovic. But Barça were losing key balls, and Murcia’s 7 steals gave them the momentum they needed to bounce back to 15-13 at the end of the first period.

The second period was even worse. Xavi Pascual pulled off all of his starters apart from Vázquez, which only made the home side stronger in attack and they were also dominating defensive rebounds. Murcia had soon gone +7 (24-17) after a dunk from Barnes. Robles kept his side in command with a 19th minute score (29-21) and with Barcelona having surrendered 5 more possessions, the half ended with a worrying 34-23.

Defence makes job easier

Santiago_a_Murcia.JPGThe game turned completely after the break. This time Barça only lost two balls, one in each half, and Lakovic did a sterling job in defence as Regal FC Barcelona looked an altogether better side. Within two and a half minutes of the second half, Barça had scored six to no reply, a reaction that was only halted by a three pointer from Thomas (37-30). Four minutes later and a run of 12 uncontested points saw Barcelona right back in it, and two free throws from Gianluca Basile meant they were now five points ahead (37-42). The third period ended with Barcelona enjoying their biggest lead yet, +10 (45-55).

In the 31st minute a Daniel Santiago slam made Barça’s intent clear. Three minutes later the home side’s best man Dean Taquan, scored a three to give some hope back to the team coached by Manolo Hussein (52-61). But time was running out for Murcia, and further scores from an exquisite Roger Grimau put the game out of Murcia’s reach, and Barça go 2-0 after winning a game they had, at half time, looked in danger of losing.
Photos: JBG-EJ2
Photos: JBG-EJ2

CB Murcia: Martínez (-), Thomas (6), Robles (11), Fajardo (2), Moss (8) –starting five-, Taquan (17), Marco (2), García (-), Barnes (10), Daniel (-).

Regal FC Barcelona: Sada (6), Lakovic (18), Basile (2), Vázquez (16), Andersen (7) – starting five -, Barrett (2), Barton (2), Santiago (6), Grimau (13), Ilyasova (6), Trias (-).

Periods: 15-13 / 19-10 / 11-32 / 13-23

Referees: García Ortiz, García González and Pérez Niz.

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