Regal FC Barcelona routed Lottomatica Roma 80-56
Defending champs Regal FC Barcelona pulled a solid home win on Thursday night thanks to a 80-56 over Lottomatica Roma to reach the midway of the Top 16. The win allows Barcelona to stay perfect in Group F with a 3-0 record, and Roma drops to 0-3 to lose almost all options to advance to the quarterfinals. The first quarter was rather close for both teams, but when the hosts started to run in the second period, things changed a lot. As Roma relied too much on Ali Traore in the third quarter, Barcelona managed to open a gap that proved to be definitive until the final buzzer. Alan Anderson led the winners with his 16 points and Juan Carlos Navarro and Kosta Perovic added 13 apiece. For Lottomatica, Traore was the best man with 17 points, Darius Washington added 14 and Nemanja Gordic 13 thanks to his three triples, all the ones that Roma put in. The 21 assists disehd by the hosts against the 14 turnovers of Roma, many of them in key moments, allowed the hosts to cruise to the win.
Alan Anderon opened the scoring for Regal FC Barcelona with a turnaround jumper but Nihad Djedovic replied fast for Roma. The protagonists in offense for each team were Darius Washington for Roma with his drives and one on ones, and Kosta Perovic for Barca with layuos in the lane thanks to assists by his teammates. Perovic himself ied the game at 4-4 and then made the 6-4, but Washington was back with his own four straight points to make it 6-8 despite the hosts' switching defenses to stop him. Anderson finally hit the first three of the game but Ali Traore appeared fo four straight points from down below after good ball circulation by the guests to keep his team ahead, 10-12. However, Juan Carlos Navarro appeared for two almost consecutive triples around Nemanja Gordic's own bomb, to make the score climb fast to a 21-17 for Barcelona as the first quarter came to an end.
The second period started at a much higher pace form the get-go. Roger Grimau and Joe Ingles teamed up to launch Barcelona in the starting plays, but Traore was still a warrior in the paint to score four straight points for Roma making it 26-21. Barcelona was running and finding its style by the minute and when Grimau fed Boni Ndong for the alley-oop and a seven-point lead, 28-21, the stands caught fire. However, Roma was still relying on Traore, who proved to be reliable under the glasses. Ingles drove around the guests defense to find the bucket, but with Washington back on court, Roma had its main weapon available again and soon the game was a 30-28 after a 0-5 run. After the timeout the run went to 0-7 as Gigi Datome tied the game at 30-30. Perovic and Anderson gave the hosts some air, but Washington was still putting together a clinic on the one on one to keep Roma afloat. The pace of the game was still up high and some defenses had a hard time to keep track of the ball, which was being circulated at light speed. Despite the good burst to be back in the game, a few turnovers doomed Roma in the next plays and Barcelona made the most of them as Navarro scored six almost consecutive points that launched his team to a double-digit lead, 45-34. Gordic could stop the bleeding for Roma with a clean jumper to send the game into the halftime break with a 45-36 on the scoreboard.
The second half could have not started better for Barcelona as Anderson buried a bomb from downtown and then Perovic slammed for the 5-0 and a 50-36 lead. Traore continued his monologue as for more than seven minutes he was the only player to score for Roma: from inside, from outside, from the free throw line. However, Perovic and a three by Terence Morris kept Barca out of reach, and then Anderson added his own fastbreak to make it a 16-point game, 57-41. Not even a technical foul called on Ndong made it easier for Roma to score with Traore on the bench, but finally Gordic scored his second three to make it 59-45. There was still some time however for Ndong to go to the line and put an end to a low-scoring quarter as the scoreboard showed a 61-45 after 30 minutes.
It took Lottomatica three minutes and a half to score its first basket of the last quarter through Washington, but Barcelona already had a 4-0 run to lead by 20 points, 65-45. Erazem Lorbek executed a nifty move in the paint to score, but the answer was Gordic's third three. The game entered its last four minutes with Barcelona dominating by 21 points as coach Xavi Pascual took the chance to give some important minutes to players who normally don't enjoy them. When Ingles blasted a three from the corner to make it 74-50 the deal was sealed and the crowd knew it. Washington still had time to show a few details of his individual technique, but the guests knew they couldn't do much more. A new win was staying in Barcelona to make it a perfect record.
Thursday, February 3, 2011