2007-08Regular SeasonRound 5
November 22, 2007 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALAU BLAUGRANA

AXA FC Barcelona defeated archrival Real Madrid 73-62 at home

AXA FC Barcelona knocked off the next-to-last undefeated team in the Euroleague and improved its Group C standing when it defeated archrival Real Madrid 73-62 at home on Thursday. Barcelona survived a back-and-forth battle that served the Spanish super-derby tradition well and now ties for third place in Group C with a 3-2 record. Meanwhile, Real Madrid dropped to 4-1 and is one win behind Panathinaikos, the only undefeated team left in the competition. Jaka Lakovic led the winners with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Gianluca Basile added 13 while Alex Acker had 7 critical points in the fourth quarter, when Madrid had rallied from a 19-point deficit to get a 56-59 edge. Felipe Reyes had 16 points for Real Madrid while Louis Bullock added 14. Lakovic and an unstoppable Basile led Barcelona to a 34-15 lead midway through the second quarter. A 2-3 zone defense allowed Madrid to get back on track, as Bullock, Reyes and a three-pointer by Kerem Tunceri gave Madrid a 56-59 lead with 7 minutes to go. It didn't last long, as Lakovic and Acker combined for 11 points in a 15-0 run that sealed the outcome down the stretch.

Real Madrid coach Joan Plaza placed Sergio Llull in the starting lineup to guard Lakovic. Lazaros Papadopoulos opened the scoring with a hook shot that Lakovic matched with a driving layup. Llull scored in a backdoor pass, but Barcelona soon improved its defense. Madrid picked up 3 quick fouls, while Lakovic fed Marconato and Vazquez for consecutive dunks. Ilyasova dunked it off a steal in an 11-0 run that Lakovic capped with a layup, good for a 13-4 Barcelona lead. Bullock stepped up with a layup-plus-foul but Barcelona kept rolling. Vazquez dunked it again, Lakovic fed Jordi Trias for an easy layup while Basile buried a seven-meter bomb that sent the crowd to their feet, 22-7. Raul Lopez tried to change things with a three-pointer and Reyes drew consecutive fouls in the paint, but they only got Madrid within 22-13. Madrid had improved its defense now but Trias stepped up with a follow-up layup, good for a double-digit Barcelona lead, 24-13, after 10 minutes.

Barcelona opted to look for its big men inside early in the second quarter. Pepe Sanchez shined with a driving layup but Charles Smith finished a second-chance Madrid offense with a five-meter jumper. Roger Grimau and Michel Morandais quickly answered with fast break layups to restore a 30-15 Barcelona lead. Mario Kasun shined with a power layup, making Madrid call timeout at 32-15. The guests switched to a 2-3 zone defense but Trias capped a 8-0 run with another layup. Axel Hervelle scored inside but Kasun matched that with free throws. Bullock came off the bench and immediately followed one from downtown with free throws to give Madrid some hope at 36-21. Basile kept Barcelona's momentum going with a wild three-point play, as Bullock tried to change things with more foul shots while Venson Hamilton added a jump hook. Lakovic took over with a driving basket while Basile provided a highlight with a reverse layup. Reyes stepped up with back-to-back baskets and Lopez added free throws but once again Basile slashed to the rim for another three-point play and a 48-31 Barcelona margin. Reyes hit a power layup while Hervelle beat the buzzer with a jump hook to get Madrid within 48-36 at halftime.

Alex Mumbru fueled the Madrid comeback with a quick jumper right after the break, as Barcelona kept struggling to score. The guests, however, tried to get Papadopoulos involved without much success. Basile fired in his trademark fallaway jumper but Hervelle beat the buzzer with an incredible six-meter fallaway shot. Denis Marconato hit a mid-range jumper that Bullock matched with a fast break basket. Madrid felt more and more confident with its zone defense while an acrobatic layup by Lopez got the guests even closer, 52-44. Barcelona called a much-needed timeout and returned to the floor with much more aggressivity. Even with that, Papadopoulos scored in the low post to make it a six-point game, 52-46. Trias stepped up with a layup but Papadopoulos fed Reyes for a three-point play, as all Barcelona fans at Palau Blaugrana had already started to wonder. Barcelona kept taking off-target shots, while Mumbru hit a jump hook that got the guests within striking distance, 54-51, at the end of the third quarter.

Mumbru scored off a midcourt steal to get Madrid even closer, 54-53, at the start of the fourth quarter, as the game turned into a thriller. Acker stepped up with a driving layup but Reyes took over with an incredible put-back basket. An unsportsmanlike foul on Kasun allowed Reyes to tie the game, 56-56. A three-pointer by Tunceri soon completed the guests' comeback, 56-59, with 7 minutes to go. Acker kept pacing Barcelona with a baseline jumper while Lakovic fired in a big triple to put Barcelona back ahead, 61-59. Lakovic set the crowd on fire with another three-pointer while Acker also hit one from downtown to cap an 11-0 run that put Barcelona out of trouble, 67-59, with 4 minutes remaining. Marconato buried his trademark jumper, making Madrid call timeout at 69-59. It was do-or-die time for the guests and Barcelona opted to use long possessions to stay out of trouble. Madrid had lost control, while Trias scored inside to cap a game-breaking 15-0 run that sealed the outcome, 71-59. Bullock buried one from downtown but it was too little, too late for Madrid, as all Barcelona fans were already celebrating a big win.

Thursday, November 22, 2007
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Attendance: 7311
By Quarter1234
AXA FC Barcelona2424619
Real Madrid13231511
End of Quarter1234
AXA FC Barcelona24485473
Real Madrid13365162
AXA FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BASILE, GIANLUCA 30:23 13 4/7 1/5 2/2   2 2 1 3       3 3 12
6 SANCHEZ, PEPE 10:34 2 1/2       1 1 2         2   2
8 TRIAS, JORDI 21:57 8 4/7     3   3     2 1   1   6
9 MARCONATO, DENIS 26:03 6 3/4     2 4 6 1         3 2 11
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 33:34 14 3/3 2/7 2/2 1 9 10 7 1 1     2 8 32
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 12:43 7 3/7   1/2   1 1 1 1       1 2 6
21 ILYASOVA, ERSAN 14:05 2 1/1 0/3     2 2   1 1     2 1  
24 MONCASI, ALBERT DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
30 MORANDAIS, MICHEL 14:49 4 2/3 0/2     2 2   1 2     1   1
34 ACKER, ALEX 9:00 9 2/2 1/1 2/2   1 1     1     1 1 9
41 KASUN, MARIO 17:25 6 2/3   2/4 2   2     4     5 2 -2
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 9:27 2 1/2     1   1 2 1 1     4    
Team                     2         -2
Totals 200:00 73 26/41 4/18 9/12 9 22 31 14 8 14 1 0 25 19 75
        63.4% 22.2% 75%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 HAMILTON, VENSON 6:58 2 1/1       2 2           2   2
5 PELEKANOS, MICHALIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 SMITH, CHARLES 13:56 2 1/1 0/3 0/4   2 2   1       2 3 -1
8 SEKULIC, BLAGOTA 5:38                              
9 REYES, FELIPE 24:31 16 5/11   6/12 4 2 6   1 1     1 8 17
14 PAPADOPOULOS, LAZAROS 18:14 4 2/4       1 1     3     3 2 -1
15 MUMBRU, ALEX 33:22 6 3/5 0/2     4 4 1 1 3     2 4 7
17 HERVELLE, AXEL 24:26 6 3/5 0/2   3 3 6     1     4   3
19 TUNCERI, KEREM 18:48 3   1/1         1   1     1 1 3
22 BULLOCK, LOUIS 28:05 14 3/9 1/4 5/5   2 2 2 1 3   1 3 5 8
23 LLULL, SERGIO 5:14 2 1/1 0/1     1 1               2
24 LOPEZ, RAUL 21:48 7 1/1 1/2 2/2 2 1 3 1 1 2     1 2 10
Team                   2           2
Totals 201:00 62 20/38 3/15 13/23 9 18 27 5 7 14 0 1 19 25 52
        52.6% 20% 56.5%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

AXA FC Barcelona
"It was a must-win game for us, no matter if we did not play well. We managed to win it due to our self-confidence that my players had in the fourth quarter. We had a strong start but they managed to get back in the game in the second quarter by powering the offensive board. We had a slow start in the third quarter and had troubles against their zone defense. We might have paid a high price for this, but we showed that we can do well under pressure in the fourth quarter. The main goal was to win the game, but I want to improve a little bit in each game. Our defense allows us to make up our mistakes. We missed too many open shots, especially from three-point range, not only tonight but also in Athens. I put Alex Acker in the game in the fourth quarter because I looked at the bench and I believed he was the only one able to break the game. He hit his first shot, felt confident and I am sure he will keep playing better. I want to highlight that Pepe Sanchez played tonight with 39 degrees of temperature."
Real Madrid
"We worked hard in this game and managed to fix all the mistakes we made in the first half, but just when we got a three-point lead, the team was too tired to finish the job. Moreover, we cannot expect to win a team like AXA FCB with 10 free throws missed. I am leaving today with the feeling that we could have won the game, but I want to be positive, too. I am working for long-term goals and some of what happened here tonight will be useful in three months' time. There are reasons to be satisfied with the hard work of my players. Barcelona hit the right shots down the stretch and that was the difference."


AXA FC Barcelona
"We played really well in the first half and everything went just as planned. We managed to control the boards and got a lot of fast break points. We were tired in the second half and that almost made us lose the game. Alex Acker stepped up and allowed us to get a well-deserved win."
Real Madrid
"We didn't play well in the first half and it took us a lot of energy to come back to the game. When we finally made it, we did not have that energy to finish the job. We managed to stop their fast breaks in the second half but we could not complete our comeback. There are no reasons to worry, this is just the regular season and there are a lot of games coming up."
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