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11.11.2009 22:34

A question of work and patience (76-62)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barça are now 4-0 in Europe, but Asvel proved hard to beat in a game that was not decided until the end. But Barça kept their cool and made sure of an important victory.

Asvel were under less pressure and so this was never going to be an easy game. So it came as no surprise to see the French outfit stay in contention to the end, and that was without the injured Curtis Borchardt.

The home side merely waited calmly and seized the moment when it arrived. That was in the final period, when Barça eventually won by 14 points, the biggest lead of the night in a game that was preceded by the presentation of a special collaboration between the Euroleague and the Specials Olympics.

Traoré makes a difference

2009-11-11_PARTIDO_09.JPGFrench basketball tends to be physical, and with small but fast centres, Vincent Collet made the most of what he had, and especially Ali Traoré. The interior player led the visitors’ offence and ended on 13 points.

It was heading to be all square at the break, but Ricky Rubio then converted a three pointer on the buzzer to give FCB a promising lead (41-39).

Navarro certifies the win

2009-11-11_PARTIDO_28.JPGThings changed after the restart, when the foul count started conditioning Asvel’s tactics, especially when they withdrew Traoré, who had reached a tally of four. Samnick, another of the main offence players, reached three, and was taken off too.

This allowed Xavi Pascual’s side to start imposing their speed, and the score rose to 58-53. Pete Mickeal, who led the scoring tonight, was providential, while Ndong also posted a fine performance.

The game was by no means over, though Asvel were about to discover how difficult it can be to win at the Palau. The French were visibly tired, and Navarro pounced to put his side +13 following back to back threes. Barça eventually won by 14 points, 76-62.

Even Xavi Rabaseda got some minutes towards the end, and the last throw was his, though he failed to make the hoop.
Images: Miguel Ruiz
Images: Miguel Ruiz

Regal FC Barcelona (19+22+17+18):
Rubio (7), Navarro (15), Ndong (12), Morris (-), Mickeal (16) – starting five – Lakovic (4), Vázquez (7), Rabaseda (-), Sada (2), Lorbek (9), Grimau (4)

Asvel Lyon (22+17+14+9): Lukauskis (9), Foirest (7), Traore (20), Campbell (2), Dixon (11) – starting five – Jeanneau (2), Dewar (7), Kangur (-), Fofana (-), Samnick (4)

Referees: Radovic (CRO), Chiari (ITA), Juras (SRB)

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