2008-09Top 16Round 3
February 12, 2009 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALAU BLAUGRANA

Regal FC Barcelona crushing Alba Berlin 85-69

Regal FC Barcelona took exclusive hold of second place in Group F by blasting pesky Alba Berlin after halftime for a 85-69 home win on Thursday. Barcelona raised its record to 2-1, a victory behind undefeated Real Madrid and one ahead of third-place Maccabi. Alba fell to 0-3 and will keep looking for its first Top 16 victory after next week's break, when it hosts Barcelona in Berlin. It did not look like an easy win for Barcelona in the first half, which Alba won 37-38 with some heady all-around effort and good ball movement leading to open layups. Everything changed after intermission as Gianluca Basile made 4 free throws to get back the lead for Barcelona. After Alba scored again, however, the hosts put the game away with a huge 17-0 run in which Ersan Ilyasova hit his fourth and fifth triples without a miss until then. Ilyasova was the big gun for the winners, pumping in a career-high 30 points to go with 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists and 2 blocks. He ended up hitting 6 of the 7 triples he tried. Basile followed with 14 points, Juan Carlos Navarro added 13 and David Andersen 10 for the winners. Julius Jenkis was Alba's top scorer with 12 points, while Aleksander Nadjfeji added 11 and Adam Chubb 10.

Barcelona started stylishly, with a reverse dunk by Daniel Santiago, but Chubb matched him with a similar one-hander. Victor Sada put Barcelona up 4-2 at the foul line, but Casey Jacobsen converted a steal for the guests. Ilyasova swished an open three-pointer and then blocked Chubb's next shot from behind, so that when Navarro joined the scoring with a "bomba" from the lane, the hosts were up 8-4. After Immanuel McElroy hit free throws for Alba, Basile matched them and hit a left-handed layup at 12-6. Ansu Sesay tried to rally Alba from downtown, but Ilyasova was just as good from the arc, then downed free throws off an offensive rebound to make it 17-9. Sesay's jump shot got Alba into double-digits, a drive by McElroy and inside shot by Nadjfeji even closer, 17-15, forcing a Barcelona timeout. David Andersen got his first basket then, but Nadjfeji equalled it, cutting Barcelona's advantage to 19-17 after one quarter.

After getting open underneath, Sesay tied it 19-19 at the line on the second quarter's first play. In response, Barcelona lobbed to Fran Vazquez for a dunk. Nadjfeji completed Alba's takeover with a back-down post-up move and a fastbreak dunk at 21-23. Basile came back and blasted a triple from the top to make it 24-23 for Barcelona. Rashad Wright had Alba's answer, dancing through the Barcelona defense for a layup that Jenkins copied on the next possession, putting the guests up 24-27. Navarro tied it just as quickly, on a triple from the corner, but Wright fed Dragan Dojcin for a layup to keep Alba one step ahead. By the time Jenkins also scored close in, Alba was up 26-31. Ilyasova was Barcelona's answer man, with his third triple, but Jenkins stuck a shorter jumper at 29-33. Ilyasova hustled to put back his own miss, then Navarro blasted a seven-meter triple for another quick scoreboard switch, 34-33. Alba took a timeout to talk about it and took the lead back when Jenkins got free for a layup. Santiago hit 1 of 2 free throws to tie, 35-35, then Navarro rolled off a screen for another one-hander to put Barcelona ahead, but Jenkins tied it from just inside the arc and Nadjfeji hit a free throw off a late steal to silence the crowd at halftime with Alba ahead 37-38.

Basile put Barcelona back in front with two aggressive drives leading to 4 perfect free throws right after the break. Sesay responded for Alba in close, but Sada found Santiago for a layup and Ilyasova pumped in another triple to make it 46-40. Alba needed a timeout, but couldn't get restarted as Vazquez dunked alone and Ilyasova converted Sada's steal to make it 50-40. Alba was getting no easy looks or second shots, while Ilyasova buried his fifth triple without a miss and Basile another to make it 56-40. After Ilyasova sat down to a standing ovation, both offenses stalled until Vazquez scored inside to cap Barcelona's run at 17-0. Jacobsen ended Alba's bleeding with a corner triple and Chubb got a hustle basket, but Andre Barrett finished the quarter for Barcelona with a baseline jumper that showed the hosts completely in charge at 60-45.

Ilyasova hit 2 free throws and pulled every rebound to start the fourth quarter by dispelling any ideas of an Alba comeback. His put-back after 3 tries and as many offensive rebounds earned him another ovation as the score hit 64-47. Despite hustle plays like Jacobsen's steal, Alba could do no more than exchange baskets as Ilyasov and now Andersen, with a dunk, ruled inside on offense for Barcelona. By the time Navarro rejoined the scoring, it was 74-58 with under 4 minutes left and no more mystery to the outcome remained. It took them a half to get going, but Barcelona defended its homecourt without more problems and kept on track for a shot at the Quarterfinal Playoffs.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
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Attendance: 4865
By Quarter1234
Regal FC Barcelona19182325
Alba Berlin1721724
End of Quarter1234
Regal FC Barcelona19376085
Alba Berlin17384569
Regal 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 28:14 14 1/1 2/4 6/6   2 2 3         1 3 19
6 BARRETT, ANDRE 14:22 2 1/2 0/1         3             3
8 TRIAS, JORDI 2:54 2 1/2     1   1               2
9 BARTON, LUBOS 2:56   0/1 0/1         1             -1
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 33:08 13 4/4 1/5 2/3   2 2 4 1 2       5 18
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 20:56 10 5/9 0/1   2 1 3     1     2 1 6
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 16:51 6 3/5     1 1 2 1   1 4 1 3   6
20 DEDOVIC, NIHAD DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 ILYASOVA, ERSAN 25:33 30 4/10 6/7 4/4 7 4 11 2 2 1 2   3 3 39
24 SADA, VICTOR 22:35 1   0/1 1/2 1 5 6 5 3 5 1   2 2 9
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 13:46 3 1/2   1/2   2 2   1 1 1   2 4 6
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 18:45 4 1/1 0/2 2/2   3 3           3 3 5
Team             1 1     1          
Totals 200:00 85 21/37 9/22 16/19 12 21 33 19 7 12 8 1 16 21 112
        56.8% 40.9% 84.2%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
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
Alba Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 JACOBSEN, CASEY 23:52 7 2/2 1/3   1   1 1 1 2     3 1 4
5 HERBER, JOHANNES DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 HAMANN, STEFFEN 9:33           1 1 1 1 1     2    
7 ZWIENER, PHILLIP DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 DOJCIN, DRAGAN 14:22 2 1/2 0/3     3 3 1         1 2 3
9 SESAY, ANSU 21:01 9 2/6 1/3 2/2 2 2 4   1   1 1 2 3 9
11 JENKINS, JULIUS 24:47 12 6/10             1 3   3 3 1 1
12 WRIGHT, RASHAD 30:27 9 4/6 0/3 1/2   1 1 4 1 1   1 2 1 6
14 CHUBB, ADAM 18:25 10 5/9     1 3 4     1   1 3 1 6
17 CLAY, OLIVER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 McELROY, IMMANUEL 31:21 9 2/5 1/1 2/2 1 3 4 2 1     1 3 4 13
32 NADJFEJI, ALEKSANDAR 26:12 11 5/6   1/2 2 3 5 3 1 7   1 2 3 11
Team           3 1 4   1           5
Totals 200:00 69 27/46 3/13 6/8 10 17 27 12 8 15 1 8 21 16 58
        58.7% 23.1% 75%

Head Coaches

Regal FC Barcelona
"We had warned before this game how difficult it could be, and I think in the end we saw how capable a team Alba is. It's a difficult team with lots of talent and exterior players who know how to take advantage of many situations. We were very uncomfortable in the middle of the first half, especially around the 17th minute when Ilyasova went out with two fouls. Alba got back in the game then, and then Fran Vazquez also got two fouls and we had to basically survive that rough part of the game. In the second half, we came out very aggressive on defense, got steals and fastbreaks, and generally played really well. At the start of the fourth quarter, it was the same, but we let up too many points towards the end or it would have been a bigger margin. But I am happy with the victory in what was such an important game for us. We can't say much now about the group. Maccabi has lost away twice, won at home once. Madrid has won its two home games and one away. We have won our home games. We'll still have to see what happens when Madrid plays on the road at Maccabi, but we want to win away when we go to Alba's court in the next game. There's a lot left to play. We will have it difficult in Berlin against Alba with their crowd and them wanting to get a win and possibly get back in the group race. It's an important game, and that's what we'll be concentrated on. You can't say any more right now."
Alba Berlin
"First, of course, congratulations to the coach and team of Barcelona on a good game and a good victory. We as a team knew that we had to take everything that was offered to us in order to have any chance for a competitive ending. Unfortunately, the moments at the beginning of the third quarter were the ones when we allowed the opponent to run his game, which was very fast, very aggressive on both ends of the floor. We were poor offensively in that quarter, but defensively we let situations develop that the quality players of Barcelona knew how to handle. That was the moment when the game got away from us. We tried after that to get back in it, but the home team didn't let us. Every game is played four quarters, two halves. We did many good things in the first half in order to be ahead, but with a team like Barcelona, you must have better continuity. We would have had our chances if we survived through the situation immediately after halftime. But there was a rise of aggressiveness and we didn't respond. Had we responded well, maybe we could have done something better, but it's difficult against Barcelona on its home court. We as alba had to be at our best, but in that moment we weren't and this is where the game slipped easily from us."


Regal FC Barcelona
"It was a good game for us, an important win against a difficult team, Alba, that has good shooters and hurt us with their offense. In the first half, we gave them too many open shots. We had to do a better job in the second half, on Jenkins especially, and I think we did that. When we came to the locker room at halftime Xavi gave us a different tactic defensively, and we tried to double-team Jenkins because he was making lots of points. We were successful and won the game. We stopped their easy scoring from the first half and we got some three-point shots going. So it's a good win and now we can look forward. I tried to stay focused on every game, doesn't matter who we play. Alba is a really good team, they make open shots and it's hard to defend them. But we finally played our way, our game and we got the win. For us, it's not important what happens in other games. We'll see later, but for now we have to try to stay focused on our team and win all the games."
Alba Berlin
"In the first half, we were in control a bit. The second half, they just stepped on us. They played their game. We let them get going with so many of our turnovers and that's the reason we lost this game. We just let them get ahead and after it was so hard to come back with so many offensive rebounds on their side and turnovers on our side. That was everything there. It's a difficult team with great big guys, everyone plays together, they hit open shots. We did our best but the second half was just too bad for us."
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