Barça starts this Sunday (6.30 pm) at the WiZink Center against Real Madrid the assault on the Endesa League, a tournament that has resisted him since 2014 and in which he has lost his last two finals against Baskonia, last year in a single game, and two seasons ago against the same rival as this time.
The Catalans reach the final with the right forces after playing every 48 hours since May 28 and adding eight games in fifteen days, but the challenge of beating the Endesa League against Real Madrid with the home court factor is so great that it invites a final effort in which it will be their fourth final this course.
To raise the title, Barça will have to win away from the Palau, something that they did not achieve in the previous two qualifiers against Joventut de Badalona and Lenovo Tenerife, offering a very poor image that forced him to win the third game on his court, where he was relentless with his rival.
It does not seem, however, that track advantage is a deciding factor according to what happened throughout the season, as Saras Jasikevicius’s team won in Madrid both in the Endesa League (82-87) and in the Euroleague (76-81).
The balance in the games this season between azulgranas and madridistas is favorable to Barça with four victories and two defeats. It will be the third final this season that faces the two greats of Spanish basketball. Real Madrid won the Super Cup (72-67) and Barça the Copa del Rey (88-73).
It will be the final sixteenth of the ACB League between both teams with clear dominance of Real Madrid with nine victories while Barça took six. Pablo Laso’s team won the last three that had both teams as protagonists, in the 2018-2019, 2015-2016 and 2014-2015 seasons.
In one of the six won by the Catalans, 2000-2001, a very young player played Pau Gasol, that he will fight for the League again twenty years later. The Barça center is being one of the best of his team in the playoffs with an average of 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
The one from Sant Boi will have a huge challenge against Walter Tavares and Vincent Poirier, the white towers. Stopping the Real Madrid physicist under the boards will be one of Barça’s objectives to try to win the first game and be able to decide the title in Barcelona.
The other will be the hit from the three-point line. The Catalans based their triumphs in the previous qualifying rounds on a great defense, especially in the third quarters, with high percentages in the shots of three. That cocktail turns Jasikevicius’s team into an unstoppable team when he manages to mix it up.
Barça will also need the best version of Nikola Mirotic in the final, very irregular in these ‘play off’. It will be the first time that the Montenegrin will face his former team in an Endesa League final. His only league title was achieved in 2013 with Real Madrid winning the final against Barça.
It will be an express final without time to savor it. The second game will be played at Pala Blaugrana on Tuesday (10pm) and if a third party is necessary, it would be played on Thursday (10 pm) on the Madrid court.