Barcelona downs Joventut for first place at ANGT Valencia
U18 FC Barcelona became the first team to book its ticket for the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals as it defeated U18 Joventut Badalona 79-55 in the ANGT Valencia first-place game. Barcelona, the 2016 continental champion, took charge of the game with a 15-0 run in the third quarter. Tournament MVP Michael Caicedo led the way with 29 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists for a performance index rating of 37 for Barcelona, while Teodor Simic had 12 points and Gael Bonilla chipped in 4 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Joventut, the continental champion from 2013, was paced by Miguel Allen with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Gerard Bosch scored 12 points.
This is the first time Barcelona won an ANGT qualifying event since it beat Joventut in the first-place game at the ANGT L’Hospitalet in 2016-17. It marks the ninth time that Barcelona has qualified for the ANGT Finals. Its last appearance was in 2017 in Istanbul.
Rafa Villar scored the first points of the game and it was 4-0 when Allen finally scored Joventut’s first points at the 6:23-minute mark of the first quarter. Caicedo tallied 7 points to help Barcelona open an 11-4 cushion. Bosch tallied 5 points for Joventut, which trailed 17-14 after 10 minutes. Allen opened the second quarter with the first 4 points as Joventut took its first lead 17-18. Ian Granja had a triple and three-point play at the other end as Barcelona surged back ahead 27-20. But Joventut held Barcelona to just one basket in the next 5 minutes and got within 29-26 only to see Caicedo hit a three-pointer just before halftime to make it 32-26 at the break.
Simic converted a three-point play to start the second half and Villar’s dunk made it 39-26 before Allen finally scored for Joventut after more than 2 minutes. Omar Thiam followed with a three-pointer to cut the margin to 8, but Villar threw down another dunk and Caicedo scored 7 points in a 15-0 run over 4:18 minutes to blow the game open, 54-31. Joventut kept Barcelona scoreless for the final 3 minutes and closed the quarter on a 0-9 run to trim the deficit to 54-40 going into the final frame.
Barcelona scored the first 3 points of the fourth quarter to stop the rut and go ahead 57-40. Joventut managed the next 7 points to cut the deficit to 10, but Caicedo knocked down a pair of three-pointers and the advantage was 69-51 with 4 minutes left. Joventut did not get closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020