EuroLeague Final 1994: History was fair with Joventut

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 1994 Decade 90 EuroLeague Joventut Badalona Olympiacos
In the preliminary phase CSKA was eliminated again in the first change, the rest of the greats do not lose their annual appointment with the European Cup. The Cantú after several years out returns to the European front line and both Benfica and Guildford sneak into the elite

In the sixteenth
Limoges as champions, Real Madrid, Bologna Virtus and Olympiacos were exempted.
Barcelona eliminated Minsk
Pau Orthez eliminated Rabotnicki
Joventut eliminated Broceni
Guildford eliminated Galil Elyon
Benetton eliminated Prague
Maes Pils eliminated Split
La Cibona eliminated UKJ Suba
Benfica eliminated Smelt Olimpija
Bayern Leverkusen eliminated EBBC
Ephesus Pilsen eliminated Zalgiris Kaunas
Panathinaikos eliminated Levski

After the crossings in Group A, Olympiacos finished as the outstanding leader. Real Madrid and Limoges fought hand in hand for second place. Barcelona finished fourth, last place for the playoff. Although it really suffered a lot against the team Maes Pils and Benetton revelation until the last day had options.
1. OLYMPIACOS   (11-3)
2. REAL MADRID   (9-5)
3. LIMOGES   (9-5)
4. BARCELONA   (8-6)
5. MAES PILS(8-6)
6. BENETTON   (7-7)
8. GUILDFORD   (0-14)
In the group B the equality was tremendous, between the first and the fifth in the end there was only a victory of advantage and with a balance (9-5) tied four teams. Efes Pilsen finished leading, Panathinaikos, Joventut and Virtus Bologna completed the playoff. La Cibona was out because of the average.
1. EFES PILSEN   (10-4)
3. JOVENTUT   (9-5)
5. CIBONA   (9-5)
6. BENFICA   (5-9)
7. PAU ORTHEZ   (3-11)
8. CANTU   (2-12)
After an exciting regular league the playoff crosses were as follows: VIRTUS BOLONIA against OLYMPIACOS, JOVENTUT against REAL MADRID, BARCELONA against EFES PILSEN and LIMOGES against PANATHINAIKOS.
(77-64); (89-69); (65-62)
(88-69); (67-71)
(54-50); (73-64); (62-76)
(75-68); (59-48); (87-73)

The final four was held this year in Tel Aviv and brought us an exciting double derbihispano-helleno. On the one hand Joventut faced Barcelona and on the other Olympiacos against Panathinaikos, a duel that would be the beginning of an almost eternal rivalry. Whatever happens the final would be played by a Catalan team against a Greek. 

The Spanish semi-final is won by Joventut. Two years later the Greens return to a final. Barcelona with a great Epi in attack and with Massenburg marking a high defensive level dominated the scoreboard until the beginning of the second half. From there the Joventut took over the game, Tomas Jofresa coming from the bench and Villacampa scored with great ease and the tridende interiore Smith, Thompson and Ferran was also decisive.

*R.Jofresa – 3p, 4r.
*Villacampa – 20p, 5r.
*Smith – 11p, 11r.
*Thompson – 12p, 6r.
*Martinez – 12p, 8r.
T.Jofresa – 21p, 2br.
Morales – 0p, 4r.
Perez – 0p.
Albert – 0p, 1r.
Corrales – 0p.
FC Barcelona
*Montero – 5p, 4r.
*Epi – 23p, 4a.
*Jimenez – 3p, 5r.
*Roberts – 7p, 6r.
*Massenburg – 10p, 12r.
Crespo – 5p, 2br.
Galilea – 5p, 1a.
Andreu – 3p, 3r.
Diez – 2p.
Alemany – 2p, 1r.

The Greek semi-final was much more evenly matched and only in the final stretch did they opt for the Olympiacos side. It was a real battle between two teams that from this duel faced many times. The reds pivot their game in their two mega stars Paspalj-Tarpley, also with a great work of Sigalas on the outside and Fassoulas on the inside. The Panathinaikos in front of this did not back down thanks to the departure of Volkov and a Vrankovic who at times dominated the areas. They missed a little more of the contribution of an increasingly veteran Gallis.

Olympiacos Basketball
*Bakatsias – 0p, 1a.
*Sigalas – 15p, 3r.
*Paspalj – 22p, 8r.
*Tarpley – 21p, 11r.
*Fassoulas – 13p, 8r.
Tomic – 6p, 2a.
Stamatis – 0p.
Kambouris – 0p, 1r.
Nakic – 0p.
*Patavoukas – 7p, 2a.
*Gallis – 8p, 1r.
*Ekonomou – 3p, 3r.
*Volkov – 32p, 7r.
*Vrankovic – 11p, 16r.
Miriounis – 6p, 2r.
Georgikopoulos – 3p.
Alvertis – 2p, 2r.
Gekos – 0p.

La Penya made history and won their first European Cup in Tel Aviv, after the disappointment of losing the final two years ago in the final second. This happened in a match in which the protagonists played seized by nerves, with excessive pressure and fear of failing. Even players with experience in the NBA, such as Tarpley, disappeared from the track.

Throughout the match there was a great equality between Joventut and Olympiakós, with constant alternatives on the scoreboard. The Greek team started very badly in attack, missing nine of their first ten shots, which allowed the Penya to take the lead (9-4, min. 4), despite the fact that the players were also quite erratic black-green in the shot. If Giannis Ioannidis’s side managed to keep their rivals from taking off too much in these opening stages of the match, it was mainly thanks to the power of their inner trio Paspalj-Fassoulas-Tarpley, who captured up to ten offensive rebounds in the first half to give their team second chances at pitching. For Joventut, their problems lay in the low contribution of their eaves, with Villacampa perfectly marked by a defensive specialist such as Sigalas (the green-black captain could barely throw a basket once) and the Hispanic-American Mike Smith with only three points scored in the first half (a triple in the last second that tied the game at 39). As Olympiakos’ insider play took hold in the area, the Greek side began to acquire their first advantages. Coinciding with the absence of Villacampa on track and two balls lost consecutively by the Jofresa brothers, the set of Piraeus managed to open an important gap of eight points (16-24, min. 13), although the return to track of a more intoned Villacampa brought his team on the scoreboard (32-33), to finish the first half with a tie at 39 thanks to the aforementioned triple Mike Smith.

At the beginning of the second half, Villacampa put Joventut ahead again (41-39), and from that moment on the alternatives followed on the scoreboard, with slight advantages of one and the other. With 6’44» to go, Olympiakos managed to get five points up (52-57), which, given the tremendously defensive and locked game, seemed an almost definitive income to ensure victory. However, the match was still open, given the continuous failed attacks of one team and another: although the Penya was more than four minutes without scoring a single point (from 52-53 with 8’20» to 53-57 with 4’09»), the Greek team was not in the back, and could barely score a free kick … in the last eight minutes of the game! Paspalj, who had been his team’s best in the first half with 15 points, never scored again in the entire second half.

When the match entered its decisive phase, the mistakes were made by both teams. After a few minutes in which the scoreboard did not move, a triple Villacampa with 2’02» to spare served to give hope to his team (56-57). After a failed attack by Olympiakos, Corny Thompson scored a new triple 18 seconds from the end that looked like the victory (59-57). With 4.8 seconds remaining, Mike Smith commits a personal foul on Paspalj. The Serbian forward -visibly fatigued and demoralized after a disastrous second half- misses the first free kick of «1+1», and for the rebound fight an infinity of hands. At the same time, time does not seem to pass. When Rafael Jofresa gets the ball, he throws it forward without control thinking that the game was over, but the scorers table, in an unforgivable error, forgets to restart the timer after the free kick of Paspalj, something that finally happens four seconds later, allowing the Greek set to throw up to three times more in the basket to achieve victory (a triple of Tomić with the clock stopped) or force the extension (with shots from Paspalj and Tarpley). Finally the horn sounds and the match ends between the indescribable joy of the players of the Penya, who embrace and cry on the track. Badalona, in those moments, was a city in which everyone jumped into the street to celebrate the victory of his team.

*R.Jofresa – 4p, 3r, 2br.
*Villacampa – 16p, 4r.
*Smith – 6p, 10r, 2br.
*Thompson – 9p, 4r, 1a.
*Martinez – 17p, 10r.
T.Jofresa – 5p, 1br.
Morales – 2p, 2r.
Olympiacos Basketball
*Bakatsias – 2p, 1r.
*Sigalas – 14p, 3r, 1t.
*Paspalj – 15p, 6r.
*Tarpley – 12p, 14r, 2t.
*Fassoulas – 2p, 10r, 4t.
Tomic – 10p, 1r, 1a.
Stamatis – 0p.
Tarlac – 2p, 2r.