Joventut Badalona gave no chance to FC Barcelona

Joventut Badalona’s dream season continues, as the ”Penya” won the Catalan derby against league leaders FC Barcelona in front of an enthusiastic sell-out crowd (over 12000 fans attended the game at Pavello Olimpic).

Barcelona only led once at the beginning of the game (4-5). After that, the team coached by Carles Duran took control of the game, building a 16 point lead going into halftime (50-34). Barca only managed to cut the deficit to 7 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but then Joventut made a 6-0 run again and the victory was never in doubt. The final score was 83-72 and it’s important to note that Joventut dominated the game even without two of it’s main players, Brandon Paul and Guillem Vives. Barca also had some absences (Higgins, Jokubaitis, Sanli), but coach Jasikevicius has a much deeper roster in quality and can more easily replace 2-3 players when needed.

Former Barca player Ante Tomic was the MVP of the game. The Croatian center finished the game with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Simon Birgander (15 points, 11 rebounds), Andres Feliz (21 points) and Pau Ribas (another ex-Barca player) all shined for Joventut. Brandon Davies was the best player for the Blaugrana yesterday. The American center scored 19 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and finished with the highest PIR in the game (25). Also, in the last possession of the game, Davies landed awkwardly after trying to score a basket and injured his wrist.

Joventut is now on a 6 game winning streak in the ACB League and is tied with BAXI Manresa for 3rd place. Their place in the standings is not accidental, as Joventut played solid basketball since the beginning of the season. They are 1st in their group in the EuroCup and with the confidence, they built throughout the season, Joventut has a real shot of reaching the EuroCup finals and can also make noise in the ACB playoffs.

Photo credit: Joventut Badalona

Imre Halasz