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10.12.2009 20:17

The leader performs (66-80)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barça have once again shown how a good basketball team has to work hard and play hard. They never lost their concentration for 40 minutes and controlled the game from start to finish.

The Drazen Petrovic Hall succumbed to a mighty Regal Barça. In a game where they were far from their best, Barça maintained their unbeaten record in the Euroleague, and are now the only team with a one hundred per cent record.

Having already guaranteed a place in the Top 16 next week, Xavi Pascual kept things tight to defeat Cibona

Only problem, Gordon

GYI0059116786.jpgThe Croats meanwhile, were fighting to keep their Top 16 hopes alive, but only when Rozic opened the scoring to make it 2-0 did they ever lead.

Without Pete Mickeal, who stayed behind with the flu, Pascual needed to shuffle his options, and the coach started with Roger Grimau.

Fran Vázquez and Terence Morris took charge in the interior and especially the Galician devastated the Croatian zone.

Perasovic immediately made changes, as only Jamont Gordon was creating any danger for the home side, but his plays were far too individual.

Regal Barça kept rotating to maintain the pace and ended the first period 19-26, a lead they had stretched to two by the break. But that wasn’t without a few problems, especially when Bogdanovic bagged two threes in a row to move Cibona within one at 25-26. But with a motivated Navarro on court, things changed quickly, and soon it was 34-45.

Team play

GYI0059116846.jpgLittle changed after the restart. Cibona posted some poor percentages, and failed to break down the Barça onslaught, who always seemed to have a better idea what to do.

For Regal Barça it was a matter of holding onto to the lead, and they so expertly.

In the final period, it was more about stretching the lead. Lorbek opened his own account before Grimau made it 54-69, and that was too much for Cibona.

Yet the Catalans never eased off, especially as Radosevic and Zubcic always looked capable of springing a few surprises. Indeed, just after Barça went +17 (after a Vázquez score, 59-76), the Croatians conjured up a 7-0 streak. That may have been a wake-up call, because from then on, Barça used tactics to play down the clock.

Ricky sent an assist to Morris in the penultimate action of the match, the latter registering his fourth point of the night to make the final score 66-80.
Photos: Getty Images / Robert Valai
Photos: Getty Images / Robert Valai

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Cibona (19+25+19+13): Gordon (19), Radosevic (10), Zubcic (5), Rozic (2), Tomas (3) – starting five – Bogdanovic (7), Vukusic (8), Andric (5), Bagaric (2), Princ (5)

Regal FC Barcelona (26+19+20+15): Rubio (4), Navarro (20), Vázquez (19), Morris (11), Grimau (5) – starting five – Basile (-), Trias (2), Lakovic (3), Ndong (8), Sada (2), Lorbek (6)

Referees: Christodoulou (GRE), Sahin (TUR) and Mattioli (ITA)

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