One of the reasons he returned to Europe it was to lift titles like Granada. Niko Mirotic appeared happy after the Cup final against Madrid, an exhausting physical battle, a challenge of character, which the Montenegrin player managed to overcome brilliantly. Hero of the evening together with Lithuanian point guard Rokas Jokubaitis, his performance (19 points, 5 rebounds) was once again one of the keys with the Barcelona fans and that earned him the title of MVP of the final, with which he relieved his partner Cory Higgins, present in the stands with crutches, after undergoing an operation on the plantar fascia that will have him three months off
“We are very happy. I feel like one of the members of this great team and of the family that is Barcelona, it's a great day for our club and it's time to enjoy it”, said Mirotic, acclaimed by the Barça fans, with whom he has managed to connect from day one, escorted by his two sons. "We knew how to win. Real played very well in defence, they played much more physically than us. But in the end in the second half we played better as a team, we improved defensively and we got through a difficult game", explained the Barça star who put in value the character of the team to adapt to the type of game that Madrid proposed. “We had to change the mentality in the second half. In the end, things turned out better offensively, although it wasn't a particularly brilliant game and we scored few points".
"A Triumph for the People"
Just as plethoric was the Barça coach, Sarunas Jasikevicius, who has changed the dynamics of recent years to bring the Barcelona team back to the fore. “In the beginning they surprised us with an approach with such a tall quintet and the changes in the defenses. But then we have brought out the character as in many other games this year. We started to play with rhythm, to defend and we managed to get through the final, ”said the Lithuanian coach, who also celebrated on the pitch with his two sons and his wife. “This victory is for the people, for Barcelona fans. I had never seen a Copa del Rey like this with our fans, so thank you very much”, said the Lithuanian coach, thanking the support of more than a thousand fans in the stands.
In the agonizing outcome of the match, the young Rokas Jokubaitis, 21, confirmed that the bet made by the club this summer by incorporating him was a good one. His determination also helped the Barça team to turn around a match that was very uphill. “I almost can't believe it,” he noted. “I am happy for my first title with Barça. It means a lot to everyone. For me it is one of the great achievements, if not the best of my career. We knew how to find the energy and the way we fight and not stop believing, allowed us to win the title”.