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30.10.2008 23:48

Show of authority (90-66)

Carles Cascante

Regal FC Barcelona produced a great performance to defeat Pananthinaikos in the second Euroleague game of the campaign with Juan Carlos Navarro shining with 21 points for the home side.

The Blaugrana sent out a message that they are one of the favourites to win the European crown this term as Xavi Pascahl's players overwhelmed the Greek visitors with an excellent display. Throughout the game, Barça were dominant despite Panathinaikos' best efforts to stay in touch. The inside play and the public support proved to be decisive and the four times champions of Europe were unable to reply on the night when everything came together for the Catalan outfit.

Good start

QM3D0323.jpgSantiago started the scoring off as Barça took a four-point lead early on and they continued on the same path by notching more and more points. Navarro, Sada and Ilyasova all sank triples to put the hosts 19-11 ahead in the fifth minute and that advantage was a sign of things to come in a game that many predicted would be a tense and tight encounter. Pakovic showed some good movement for Panathinaikos and stood out above his team-mates, but even he was unable to stop Barça and the first quarter ended with the home team leading 26-15.

Extending the lead

The second period began slowly and almost three minutes passed before the first basket was sunk, but when it came it reinforced Barça's authority as it was a triple from Roger Grimau and saw the fans start singing once again. Each score that Panathinaikos made was equalled by the Blaugrana and Navarro was beginning to find his rhythm and entertain everyone. The former Memphis Grizzlies star helped the hosts to a 40-23 lead and that led the visitors to call for a time out in order to regroup and work out how best to stem the tide. Pana coach Zelko Obradovic was despairing of his wide players and even the presence of former Barça star, Sarunas Jasikevicius, on court could help. At half-time, the scoreline stood at 50-33.

Same team

QM3D0333.jpgAt the start of the third quarter, Paschal chose to go with the same five that began the game and that meant that Sada directed the play with Navarro, Barton, Ilyasova and Santiago around him. Barton stood out but because of his excellent defensive work that ensured that Stratos Perperoglou was kept very quiet and not because of his scoring ability at the other end. The points continued to be chalked up and the scoreline continued to grow with Barça extending their lead. One Alley-Hoop from Fran Vázquez saw the noise in the Palau rise and by the end of the period the game was al but over as the hosts led 72-45.

Brief comeback

QM3D0385.jpgIt was always going to be difficult to maintain such a comfortable lead against a team as good as Panathinaikos and in the last quarter they did mount something of a comeback with Batiste leading the way with a number of points for the visitors. A period that saw the Greek outfit score 8-14 ensured that the gap closed, but Navarro then took his tally up to 21 points for the evening and the game was virtually concluded. David Andersen added some points in the last seconds to give Barça a 90-66 win. Now Paschal takes his player into the next game against Fuenlabrada hoping that they can repeat their European form in the Liga ACB.
Show of authority (90-66)

Regal FC Barcelona (26+24+22+18): Barton (5), Navarro (21), Ilyasova (14), Sada (3), Santiago (8) – starting team – Basile (2), Barrett (-), Trias (-), Lakovic (7), Andersen (9), Vázquez (12), Grimau (9)

Panathinaikos (15+18+12+21): Perperoglou (-), Fotsis (9), Nicholas (4), Diamantidis (10), Pekovic (15) – starting team – Kecman (4), Batiste (14), Hatzivretas (-), Tsartsaris (4), Sakota (-), Verginis (-), Jasikevicius (6)

Referees: Facchini, Jovcic, Chambon

Click here for all the official match statistics

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