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17.12.2009 22:28

Eight out of eight (89-55)

Sònia de Alba

Regal Barça are 8-0 in the Euroleague after the last game of the year. It was in the second period that they took command and Barça eventually cantered home to win by 40.

Barça’s record breaking European season continues. Unbeaten, they have consolidated their lead in Group A, and still have two more games to play in January (at Asvel and versus Montepaschi at the Palau).

Before the game, Pete Mickeal received the MVP award for November, so things could not have got of to a more positive start.

2009-12-17_FCB_REGAL_-_ZALGIRIS_KAUNAS_003.jpgWhat Xavi Pascual’s men have to do is maintain their winning ways and not ease off. And by marching to an early 10-2, they made it clear that that was their intention, but a series of timeouts ended with Gintaras Krapikas’ side bouncing straight back and even taking the lead (12-13).

Barça needed more intensity and tighter organisation to contain the talented Zalgiris players, and after an exchange of scores were ahead at the end of the first period (20-17).

Second period breakaway

In the second period, the Lithuanian defence fell apart. In the opening seconds, Fran Vázquez was on the end of a Víctor Sada assist to set the tone for things to come. Basile then opened his three-pointer account, and Terence Morris, Juan Carlos Navarro and Ricky Rubio soon followed.

Regal Barça went +20 at the half time break, with a commanding lead of 46-28.

The better team

2009-12-17_FCB_REGAL_-_ZALGIRIS_KAUNAS_006.jpgAnd there were no signs that Barça were going to ease things after that, and their pressure caused no less than 21 Zalgiris losses of balls, and the Catalans stole an immense 16 balls. The rotation system meant every member of the squad had their moment on court and the visiting side was simply outclassed in all departments.

Pascual insisted his players maintained the same work rate and following a Fran Vázquez slam, assisted by Roger Grimau, they had hone forty up (84-45).

Regal Barça kept Zalgiris under 60 points, which shows that they were compact in defence as well, while they clocked up 89. 2009 has ended with Barcelona on very good course in the Euroleague.
Eight out of eight (89-55)

Regal FC Barcelona (20+26+23+20): Rubio (5), Navarro (13), Ndong (10), Lorbek (7), Grimau (10) – starting five – Basile (3), Trias (4), Lakovic (-), Vázquez (4), Morris (11), Sada (8), Mickeal (14)

Zalgiris (17+11+9+18): Brown (4), Kalnietis (9), Begic (5), Salenga (10), Watson (17) – starting five – Pocius (2), Juskevicius (-), Janavicius (-), Klimavicius (2), Butkevicius (2), Milaknis (1), Vene (3)

Referees: Bachar (ISR), Mouzakis (GRE) i Herceg (CRO)

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