Joventut Badalona was unstoppable against “U” Cluj-Napoca

The 16th round of the Eurocup brought face to face 2 teams with the same goal, victory. Joventut secure home-court advantage in the eighth finals with a victory and U BT Cluj-Napoca will be eliminated if they lose.

The hosts start with Guy, Brodziansky, Feliz, Parra, and Tomic, Cluj responds with a debutant Szentkuti (17 years old), Bircevic, Cate, Meindl, and Richard. The first attack is made by the Spaniards who score through Brodziansky with 2 points, the answer comes from the young Szentkuti with 3 points. Cluj leads with 6 points after a triple by Richard 6-12, Ellenson equalizes at 21 but Richard is not satisfied and takes 2 free throws for a foul, scores one of them 2 and sets the score for first quarter Joventut – Cluj 21-22.

The 2nd quarter is still under the sign of balance, the match has rhythm and both teams score point after point. Gordic helps Cluj lead by 4 points 25-29 after 3 points, followed by 12 consecutive points for Joventut mainly due to Feliz’s two triples. Cluj seems unable to stop the Spanish offensive, at halftime the score is 51-40. Tomic is completely unstoppable from the action with 8 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Cluj has more turnovers 11 than assists 9, Meindl has 4 and Richard 3.

The 3rd quarter starts with a new triple from Guy, being the first to reach double digits, Richard-Meidl tries to keep Cluj in the match, and they both reach double digits 59-56. Ribas, Tomic, and Feliz manage to keep the match under control and the quarter ends 77-68. Cluj still hopes thanks, especially to Patrick Richard 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists but above all, he managed to get 8 fouls.

The 4th quarter started worse for Cluj, the Spaniards having a run of 8 points and Meindl reaching the 4th foul. There follows a period in which they miss a lot and Cluj seems to have no more breath to recover. In the end, at 92-75, Meidl is eliminated after an unsportsmanlike foul, Jones also a few minutes after. Joventut seems to be in a race towards the 100 points milestone, a goal reached in the last minute thanks to a free throw by Birgander.

Joventut (11-5) manages to win 104-81 and secure home-court advantage in the eighth-finals, although Cluj (5-11) is one of the most offensive teams in the competition, which is proven and tonight it is eliminated. Parra 18 points, Ribas, 15 points and Tomic’s 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists were the main scorers of the hosts. From Cluj Jones 16 points, 10 rebounds, Meindl 15 points, Patrick 15 points and Cate 14 points, 12 rebounds.

Valentin Petruta

Image credit: EuroLeague