Joventut Badalona is back in the ACB semifinals after 14 years

Joventut Badalona eliminated Lenovo Tenerife after another blowout win at home and will have the chance to play a Catalan derby in the ACB League semifinals against FC Barcelona.

Joventut was encouraged in the decisive Game 3 in the Palau Municipal D’Esports by over 9000 fans and also by their former player Ricky Rubio. Before becoming a EuroLeague, European and World champion, the NBA star started playing in the youth academy of Joventut and his debut in professional basketball was also with the team from Badalona. The tradition and ability to grow young players still exists at Joventut, but in order to beat Tenerife in a decisive playoff game, ‘’Penya’’ also needed the help of a veteran who already won many important battles, center Ante Tomic. The 35-year-old Croatian was the MVP of the game and he showed once again that he still is one of the best players in his position in the Spanish league.

Joventut had the advantage in the game from the beginning until the end. The first quarter was very a low scoring one, but Badalona still managed to build an 8 point lead (13-5) and then the lead just continued to grow. By half time the game was almost decided, as the Catalan team already had a 38-22 lead. Carles Duran and his team didn’t lose control over the game and they won the 3rd and 4th quarters too, the game ending 81-58. Ante Tomic finished with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, Guillem Vives and Andres Feliz scored 16 points and youngster Joel Parra impressed again with 14 points and 10 rebounds. For Tenerife, we can mention the efforts of Sasu Salin (13 points) and Giorgi Shermadini (8 points, 9 rebounds).

An interesting fact of this series is that all three games ended in blowout wins. Joventut won Game 1 by 32 points. A few days later, this year’s Basketball Champions League winners Tenerife beat Badalona by 27 and now Game 3 ended with another easy 23 points win by the home team.

Imre Halasz

Image credit: Joventut Badalona