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23.10.2008 22:07

A comfortable start (54-82)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barça got their Euroleague campaign off to a fine start with a road win at French champion Nancy by 54-82. Xavi Pascual’s side cruised to a win that never really looked in doubt.

Barça’s European debut was problem-free. Regal FC Barcelona beat Nancy by 28 points, imposing their style on the game to such an extent that the French outfit was powerless to find a response.

Well ordered and clear ideas

GYI0056022259.jpgFrom the first basket by Ersan Ilyasova following a rebound off a Daniel Santiago attempt, Barça looked quite at ease on court. With a majestic Jaka Lakovic orchestrating the show, it took just four minutes for the Catalans to stretch their lead to seven (7-14).

Regal Barça were not only strong offensively but also grabbed six rebounds, three at each end, and seemed unable to get absolutely anything wrong.

Ersan Ilyasova and Fran Vázquez rounded things off to end the first period at 15-21, the Turkish power forward was responsible for making it 11-19 with a three pointer and Fran Vázquez ended the period with two of his 11 points.

A slight dip

GYI0056022016.jpgWithout having to overdo things, Barça maintained their confident approach in the following period, with Basile and Andersen combining to put the visitors 9 ahead. Roger Grimau, who replaced Juan Carlos Navarro, who has a bit of flu, made it 17-28, the biggest lead until then.

This lead was extended by a smash from Fran Vázquez and two more points from Grimau (20-34). And with five minutes to go before the break, the Galician and Santos expanded the difference (24-39). Grimau scored two points from a foul.

It all looked too easy, but then Nancy found a reaction. Jean-Luc Monchau’s side bravely battled back, mainly thanks to Samnick and a familiar ACB face in Cyril Julian, to narrow the margin to six by the break (35-41).

Things back in place

GYI0056022037.jpgBut the French side was unable to keep that up and Ilyasova and Fran Vázquez were soon damaging Nancy’s new lease of life. Showing vast superiority, Vázquez smashed home to make it 40-47.

Only Samnick was able to shine for the hosts. Grimau, Santiago and Lakovic ended the third period with some stylish individual plays. The captain with a trademark penetration of the defence, the Puerto Rican centre with free throws and the Slovenian guard with a three pointer to complete a 10-21 streak on the half hour.

+28 difference

The game was becoming a certain road win and ended up being a simple display of what Regal Barça can do. Lakovic made way for André Barrett, and Jordi Trias also came on, he being the player who made it 53-80 with just 1:18 on the clock. Lubos Barton ended the match with two points to give Barça an even bigger lead.

Not only was this a placid start to their campaign, but Regal Barça also caused Nancy to register one of the lowest scores ever against the Catalan side. Fenerbahçe made just 50 points against Barça in 1991 and Efes Pilsen scored the same in 1994. More recently, in 2005, Cibona only managed 53 while in 2002, AEK lost to Barça by 68-54.
Photos: Getty Images
Photos: Getty Images

SLUC Nancy (15+20+10+9): Cox (-), Morandais (3), Wilson (19), Aboubakar (2), Greer (2) – starting five – Julian (6), Greer (6), Tchicamboud (6), Benson (3), Samnick (11), Njoya (-), Jacques (-)

Regal FC Barcelona (21+20+25+16): Basile (6), Lakovic (9), Navarro (4), Ilyasova (18), Santiago (8) – starting five – Barrett (2), Trias (2), Barton (4), Andersen (8), Vázquez (12), Sada (-), Grimau (9)

Referees: Pilsilkas, Sahin i Lottermoser

Incidentss: 1st game of Euroleague Group B at the Palais des Sports de Gentilly ‘Jean Weille” Nancy. Before the game there was a minute’s silence in memory of Ricard Maxenchs, the ex secretary general and ex assistant director general of FC Barcelona, who died on Monday.

Click here to view the official match stats.

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