ACB 2020 Final: Baskonia wins the league 10 years later

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 2020 ACB Barcelona Baskonia Decade 2020

The 2020 ACB was completed after the halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a final tournament, where a group of five matches were played between two groups, and the first two from each group played a final four, where in the semi-finals Barcelona eliminated San Pablo Burgos 98-84, and Baskonia beat Valencia in a hurry 73-75. In the grand final the Basques beat Barça by a tight 67-69 thanks to a final basket by Vildoza. Baskonia, 10 years later, ACB champion

In the first semifinal Barcelona beat San Pablo Burgos by a solvent (98-84). In a first half where the dominance moved in spurts, the Blaugranas broke the scoreboard in the third quarter, when with a +12, it was put with distances around the 12/15 points until the end.

Barcelona 98
*Hanga – 1p, 5r, 3a
*Higgins – 9p, 1r, 1a
*Claver – 10p, 3br, 1r
*Mirotic – 18p, 1a, 1br
*Tomic – 8p, 4r, 2a
Huertel – 14p, 11a, 4r
Abrines – 3p, 5r, 1br
Kuric – 16p, 5r, 1a
Oriola – 9p, 6r, 1a
Davies – 10p, 3r

San Pablo Burgos 84
*Fitipaldo – 11p, 3a, 2r
*Benite – 16p, 4r, 2a
*Vega – 2p, 1r, 1a
*Rivero – 8p, 6r, 1t
*Lima – 10p, 5r, 4t
Bassas – 2p, 4a, 1br
McFadden – 10p, 3r, 3a
Salvó – 2p, 2r
Aguilar – 13p, 7r, 1br
Apic – 10p, 4r, 1a
García – 0p, 1r
Alonso – 0p

In the second semifinal things were much tighter. It was a game with two different halves, a first one where Valencia dominated thanks to its best attack, and a second one where Baskonia came back and consolidated itself through defense. In the last possessions a final and definitive partial of (5-0) gave the victory to the Basques (75-73).

Baskonia 75
*Henry – 5p, 4a, 4br
*Janning – 0p, 2a, 1br
*Shields – 13p, 5r, 1a
*Shengelia – 17p, 4r, 1a
*Eric – 5p, 2br
Vildoza – 2p, 4a, 3br
Granger – 0p, 2r, 1a
Dragic – 21p, 4r, 1a
Polonara – 12p, 5r
Diop – 0p, 1r, 1a

Valencia Basket 73
*Van Rossom – 14p, 5r, 3a
*Loyd – 11p, 2br, 1a
*San Emeterio – 9p, 4r, 3a
*Labeyrie – 5p, 2r, 2a
*Tobey – 9p, 9r, 2t
Colom – 4p, 2r, 2a
Marinkovic – 3p, 1br
Sastre – 4p, 3a, 1r
Doornekamp – 8p, 5r, 1a
Dubljevic – 6p, 5r, 1a
Motum – 0p

The young Argentine point guard Luca Vildoza, with a basket with three seconds to go and a great second half, made a great doctorate in the final of the Endesa League and led KIROLBET Baskonia to their fourth league title, validating again the method of Dusko Ivanovic against a disappointing Barça that was not enough with Thomas Heurtel (67-69). 10 years later the Vitorians return to touch the glory

The title culminates an absolutely unprecedented season due to the three-month hiatus that the League experienced due to the coronavirus crisis, the final phase formula chosen to end it and the strict health measures that have been implemented.

The shock started with both teams exhibiting physical strength, but in the case of Barça also boasting the talent of Nikola Mirotic near the ring, which gave him the initiative. Dusko Ivanovic sent a clear message to theirs sitting (briefly) to Toko Shengelia. I wanted more defense.

The play went well because the inspiration of Shields and Vildoza fed his marker with something faster than Higgins of Barça. Svetislav Pesic was also quick to bring order and the entry of his inner pair of workers (Pierre Oriola and Brandon Davies) combined with the arms of Victor Claver dried up the baskonist’s attack (16-17, m.10).

With the change of room the rotations were extended and the Alava team lost the rhythm definitively. They had placed their offensive hopes on Goran Dragic, but the Slovenian missed his first shots and his team went four long minutes without scoring.

That was enough time for seven points in a row from Thomas Heurtel to shine like they hadn’t done before. In the midst of all this muscle, his basketball seemed like another game, but it was refreshing.

Taking over from him, less imaginative but very effective, was Kyle Kuric, who with eight points also in quick succession reinforced the gap opened by his team-mate. The unexpected appearance of Diop in the baskonistas (top scorer of his team at half-time with eight points) cushioned the blow, but was insufficient for this send (39-33, m.20).

Both teams repeated the initial five points, strengths and weaknesses at the restart and between steals, blocks and fouls they spent almost two minutes beating each other but without scoring. In that moor of points the appearance of Vildoza with two triples in a row forced to start again (41-41, m.24).

When the Argentinean put his team ahead with a free kick and Dragic put his first shot, Barça was already on the nerves and had put Kuric and Heurtel back in. It was the Frenchman and Vildoza’s half-time break that gave the Catalan side the calm they needed to equalise (51-51, m.30).

Mirotic’s fourth foul just after the last quarter and a couple of offensive actions by Shengelia taking advantage of the fact that the Montenegrin was still on the track consolidated that feeling and Heurtel had to appear again. But an unexpected failure of the Frenchman in a step and the fifth of his companion hit the morale of Barça (62-62, m.35).

The tension finished jamming the shock until a triple of Polonara allowed Baskonia to enter with advantage to the last ninety seconds. With the errors repeating themselves in both baskets, the claw of Pierre Oriola in the offensive rebound allowed him to tie the clash from the line of free throws with 10 seconds left.

But, on a slate, the speedy Vildoza slipped through the Barça defenders to score a basket that, after missing on the Higgins horn three times that would have changed the script, is now history.

Baskonia 69
*Vildoza – 17p, 4r, 2a
*Henry – 2p, 3r, 3a
*Shields – 9p, 4r, 1a
*Shengelia – 14p, 4r, 2a
*Eric – 2p, 5r, 1br
Granger – 0p
Janning – 8p, 1r, 1a
Dragic – 3p, 2a
Polonara – 4p, 3r, 2a
Diop – 10p, 7r

Barcelona 67
*Hanga – 3p, 3r, 2br
*Higgins – 14p, 4br, 3r
*Claver – 4p, 2a, 1r
*Mirotic – 8p, 2t, 1r
*Tomic – 2p, 6r, 1a
Heurtel – 21p, 5a, 4r
Abrines – 0p, 1r
Kuric – 8p, 3r
Oriola – 3p, 7r
Davies – 4p, 8r, 1a