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01.11.2009 14:44

Regal Barça show they can suffer (75 -78)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barca beat Estudiantes 75-78 in Madrid in a tough game that was made worse for the visitors with the injuries to Basile and Navarro.

With Basile and Navarro both on the sidelines it needed Lakovic and Morris to step up in the fourth quarter and ensure a valuable win against a combative Estudiantes team.

It was clear from the start that there would be no quarter given as both teams went for the win. Estudiantes' zonal defence was hurting Barca as were Popovic and Carlos Suárez in attack, but Barca worked hard and imposed their pace on the game. Lorbek and Basile soon began to get the machine working and Ndong put the visitors 31-38 ahead with two excellent scores from under the basket.

Basile injury

0910_J5_EST-BAR_x16x.JPGUnfortunately, that was just the moment when Basile picked up his injury, falling awkwardly on his ankle under pressure from Hernán Jasén. The Italian took no further part in the game and will be given an x-ray to discover the full extent of his injury.

The injury seemed to shake the team and Estudiantes were able to fight back to make it 40-40 at the break.

Poor quality third quarter

Neither team was at their best in the third quarter which was full of errors and although Barca got the better of it (9-12), it was clear that the final 10 minutes were going to be decisive.

Three pointers lift Barca

0910_J5_EST-BAR_x27x.JPGEstudiantes kept their zonal defending and with Barca having problems with their shooting and Basile no longer on court, they may have thought that they would have the edge, but a brilliant Lakovic, who'd not figured in the first half, had other ideas. The Slovene guard stepped up to the mark just when his team most needed him and appeared to have set up a win. Again though, an injury put the brakes on Barca's efforts as Navarro twisted his ankle and limped off. Fortunately the injury didn't look as bad as Basile's and although Navarro didn't come back on court he was able to sit on the bench and walk off court unaided.

Pascual preferred not t and the rest of the bench did him proud, with Terence Morris, who'd had a 0/6 in shots up to then, taking a three pointer to calm the team's nerves and leave the scores at 58-64 with four minutes to go.

Despite Barca's defending, Estudiantes clawed their way back and when Albert Oliver made it 62-64, the 10,000 strong home crowd sensed their team could pull it off. It was Oliver who was on target again after a Morris three-pointer, to make it 68-74 and then Ahearn made it 75-77 with just 4 seconds to play before Rubio was fouled and scored one of his free throws to ensure a fourth Barca win of the ACB season.
Images: ACB Photo
Images: ACB Photo

Estudiantes (20+20+9+26):
Oliver (12), Suárez (10), Jasen (9), Caner-Medley (6), Popovic (10) – starting five – Ahearn (15), Clark (-), Granger (8), Gabriel (5)

Regal FC Barcelona (23+17+12+26): Rubio (9), Navarro (10), Mickeal (15), Lorbek (10), Ndong (8) – starting five – Basile (2), Trias (-), Lakovic (9), Vázquez (4), Morris (10), Sada (1), Grimau (-)

Referees: Arteaga, Martínez Díez and Pérez Niz

Click here full all the game stats.

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