ANDhe Joventut de Badalona mathematically certified their qualification for the Endesa League playoff thanks to their 71-79 victory over a TD Systems Baskonia that returned to compete 23 days later. Durán’s men were far superior to their rival, dominating the light for almost 35 minutes. The interior work of Tomic and Brodziansky and the exterior success of Parra (16 points, with 4 triples without failure) and Ribas (5/9 from beyond the line), were insurmountable obstacles for a Baskonia that melted in the last quarter .
Baskonia started with an unusual quintet, including Raieste and Kurucs alongside the reappeared Jekiri. On the visiting side, Durán did not go out with heavy artillery either, and it was difficult for the party to start. Vitorianos accused the lack of activity signing very low shooting percentages that paved the way for a more precise Joventut to double his rival (7-14, min.7) after two triples from Parra and Ribas. Henry and Kurucs revived the locals, tightening the pegs in defense and adding annotation. Thus, 5 consecutive points from the Latvian, added to the 9 green-black losses, returned a minimal advantage to Baskonia at the end of the first quarter (16-15).
The picture completely changed at the beginning of the second quarter. Joventut came out with the clear instruction to load the inside game, and there Brodziansky and Tomic imposed their law. Between them they scored the first 10 Badalonese points, Parra adding a basket and his second triple to secure a solid lead (18-30) in the middle of the period. Another one from Ribas and a counterattack from Tomic shortly after gave the maximum to Carles Durán’s (22-37), raising the first warning lights on the local bench. Henry and Polonara, the two Baskonia players who least seemed to notice the 23 days without competing, took command and led to a 10-0 run that tightened the score again. The experience and coldness of Ribas, the only green and black exterior capable of scoring in the quarter, cooled Barca’s momentum and kept a comfortable distance in favor of Joventut at halftime (32-40).
The rhythm and the success declined in the resumption, entering the shock in a more locked phase. This style benefited Baskonia, which together with Polonara and Henry, gradually reduced the difference until it came close to just one possession (46-48, min.27). The green and black held out thanks to a very successful Parra, who at a point-per-minute rate broke his best scoring mark in the competition and aborted the local reaction with two free throws after a foul by Sedekerskis that was highly protested by the Lithuanian and which was resolved with a technique. Another timely triple by Ribas and inside points by Brodziansky and Birgander ruined the local effort, leaving things exactly the same as at the end of the second quarter: 8 up for Joventut.
Overcome this scare, the green and black started the last period with confidence and success. Confidence in the superiority of Tomic and Brodziansky in the painting, and success of Ventura and Ribas from the perimeter. Thanks to this magical combination, Durán’s men escaped into the light again, and this time in a way that was presumed definitive (54-71, min. 25). Dusko’s men did not give up, however, gritting their teeth back and finding three-point plays – a triple by Polonara and a 2 + 1 by Sedekerskis – to try to get closer. The final sentence would come shortly after, and from the perimeter, with Ventura and Bassas as executors, whose triples ended up confirming the visitor’s victory with a minute and a half left (64-79).
71 – TD Systems Baskonia (16 + 16 + 19 + 20): Henry (20), Kurucs (7), Raieste (3), Polonara (22) and Jekiri (4) – starting five-, Diop (3), Colom (-), Sedekerskis (7), Giedraitis (1) and Dragic (5).
79 – Joventut Badalona (15 + 25 + 19 + 20): Bassas (8), Ribas (17), Parra (16), Morgan (2) and Tomic (12) – starting five-, Birgander (5), Brodziansky (11), Dimitrijevic (2), Ventura (6), Parrado (-) and Kraag (-).
Referees: Daniel Hierrezuelo, Jorge Martínez and Iran González. They signaled a technical foul to Sedekerskis (min.27). Without eliminated.
Incidents: match corresponding to the thirty-sixth day of the Endesa League played at the Fernando Buesa Arena without an audience.
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