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26.10.2008 15:20

Devastating last quarter (89-73)

Carles Cascante

Regal FC Barcelona continues its impressive form at the top of the ACB League. At present the Catalan outfit lies in joint second place with Unicaja and TAU. This Sunday against CAI, Ilyasova, Andersen and a devastating last 15 minutes were decisive.

The game was pretty evenly matched until the last quarter of an hour when Ersan Ilyasova made his mark. The Turk had racked up six points by the end of the third period only to add twelve more in the fourth quarter. The ex-Bucks player got a 20 point rating, one fewer than David Andersen, to mark his finest performance to date in a Barça vest. Three other Barça players - Basile, Navarro and Daniel Santiago - also rated 10 or more.

Good understanding between Santiago and Navarro

QM3D9690.jpgThe first quarter showed just how well Puerto Rican Daniel Santiago and Juan Carlos Navarro understand each other on court, with both providing the other with a stream of assists. It was in fact ‘La Bomba' who first opened up a gap in the scores at 14-9 after firing in his second three pointer on the bounce. The first quarter ended at 23-16, with Navarro and Santiago leading the way with 8 and 7 points respectively.

However, in the second period the visitors made a comeback. The appearance of Pablo Quinteros was key to their resurgence as the Argentine scored 12 points in the quarter. Good initial defence was not maintained and Quinteros made serious inroads, with a three pointer three minutes before half-time leaving CAI just two points adrift at 34-32. Xavi Pascual’s men, however, took advantage of free throws to end the half up by 43 to 38.

Mental toughness

QM3D9631.jpgEven though CAI began the restart with five points in a row from American Larry Lewis, Barça held on through mental toughness. Andersen was the lead man for the Catalans in this period, with the Australian ending on 15 points. The quarter was rounded off by a spectacular basket by Lescano from almost the middle of the court.

The last period, however, was the one in which Barça really stamped their imprint on the game in a fine display of entertaining basketball. Ilyasova, who scored five of the last seven baskets for Regal FC Barcelona, was the star of the final part of what had been an evenly balanced game until the Catalans put their collective foot on the gas. Nevertheless CAI, with Rubén Garcés in great form, were able to get back to just two points behind at 62-60, until threes from Navarro and Grimau’s work rate once again forced a way through to leave Barça running out winners. Now the players and coaching staff will have a day off before getting ready for their Euroleague clash with Panathinaikos.
Devastating last quarter (89-73)
Match details

Regal FC Barcelona (23+20+17+29): Basile (11), Lakovic (5), Navarro (13), Ilyasova (18), Santiago (7) – initial fifth – Barrett (-), Trias (-), Barton (2), Andersen (20), Vázquez (6), Sada (2), Grimau (5)

CAI Zaragoza (16+22+20+15): Lescano (8), Green (6), Garcés (8), Lewis (16), Guerra (4) – initial fifth– Phillip (4), Victoriano (5), Arteaga (-), Quinteros (18), Pérez (2), Starosta (2), García (-)

Referees: Amorós, Araña y Soto

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