Joventut forced the play-off tiebreaker quarter-finals of the Endesa League to the beat a completely outclassed Barça from the initial jump by a more ambitious and intense rival, who brought a great victory to their partners the day they returned to the Olímpic (72-63). Ferran Bassas, with 20 points, led a Penya who went out to die and was convinced that he could surprise his rival with a 20-5 start. The Catalans were always behind on the scoreboard and the most they achieved was to tie the game in the third half.
Sarunas Jasikevicius’ team was never able to match the intensity of the green and black game and their lousy percentage of success in the shot ended up condemning them against an opponent who did not miss the opportunity. Despite the fatigue that drags the Barça team, the Lithuanian coach only rotated nine players since Victor Claver, who started, barely played six minutes, and Pierre Oriola and Leo Westermann did not play a single minute.
The Catalans were surprised at the beginning by the defensive intensity of Penya, who gave him a review in the first seven minutes with Bassas, Brodziansky and Dimitrijevic scoring from the triple to put the 20-5. Jasikevicius surprised by putting Claver on Bassas but the small green-black point guard knew how to find his shots to lead his team in the attack. When Leandro Bolmaro entered the court to defend him, things changed. Barça approached the scoreboard with the Argentine and Smits to finish the first quarter down ten (23-13) to the joy of the green-black fans, who rubbed their eyes at the recital his team had dedicated to them on their return to the Palau Olímpic.
The Catalans took out their zone defense to equalize the game in the second quarter. A triple by Gasol started the comeback attempt that did not go from 25-24 (min. 17) against a Joventut collapsed in attack that only added two free throws in almost eight minutes. Dimitrijevic and Ventura, with their triple of each game, cut the Barça advance (31-24, min. 19) that was always behind on the scoreboard in the first half. Higgins left the score at half-time at 31-27.
Brandon Davies tied the game in the first action of the third quarter (31-31) but Penya reacted again with a 7-0 run with Bassas scoring his fourth triple and Ante Tomic opening his locker (38-31, min. 23) ). Barça returned to the charge but their poor shooting success continued to penalize them against an opponent who was very involved in the game, who reached ten points again with Dimitrijevic’s points (49-39, min. 29).
Barça approached again in the last quarter (53-50, min, 34) from the hand of Higgins and Gasol but he did not finish surpassing his rival that with Tomic and Bassas they put the direct one again before a completely surpassed Barça. A basket de Morgan after an offensive rebound left the game resolved (67-58) with two minutes remaining.
72. Joventut Badalona (23 + 8 + 18 + 23): Bassas (20), Ribas (12), Parra (-), Morgan (6), Tomic (6) -starting team-, Dimitrijevic (10), López-Arostegui (2), Brodziansky (8), Ventura (4) and Birgander (4).
63. Barça (13 + 14 + 17 + 19): Hanga (1), Higgins (13), Claver (-), Mirotic (11), Davies (11) -starting team-, Bolmaro (12), Smits (5), Gasol (5), Abrines (-) and Kuric (5).
Referees: García, Bultó and Olivares. They eliminated Ante Tomic (min. 37), Brandon Davies (min. 38), Kyle Kuric (min. 40) by five fouls.
Incidents: Second game of the Endesa League quarter-final play-off played at the Palau Olímpic in front of about 1,000 fans.