Joventut, to a European semifinal 15 years later

Joventut Badalona will return to a continental semifinal after 15 years waiting after defeating Hapoel Vegan Friendly Tel Aviv this Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Eurocup (82-74).

After a dominant start (38-16, min.15), La Penya resisted the reaction of the Israeli team (40-37, min.23), who had the support of some 1,300 fans at the Palau Olímpic and even tied the match (70-70, min.38), but Joel Parra’s success in the free kick and the choral defensive effort tipped the scales in favor of the Spanish team.

Joventut set the pace of the game from the start thanks to their command of the rebound and solid defense (11-4, min.5). Safe with the ball, the Catalan team gave no option for their rival, thick in the static attack, to run.

In parallel, Private security and the police had to intervene in the visiting sector after a fan fell from the second to the first ring and a second threatened to jump, as well as to put out the flares lit by the Israeli fans. The tension faded, but a thin layer of smoke remained in the air, laced with gunpowder.

SUMMARY

82. Joventut Badalona (22+18+20): Vives (5), Guy (7), Parra (13), Ellenson (-), Birgander (8) -initial team-, Kraag (-), Busquets (7), Brodziansky (16), Ventura (3), Happy (7), Rodríguez (-) and Tomic (16).

74. Hapoel Vegan Friendly Tel Aviv (7+22+22+23): Brown (21), McRae (17), Munford (12), Ginat (12), Onuaku (7) -initial team-, Tokoto (5), Harel (-), Beni (-), Timor (-), Ariel (-), Hoard (-) and Zalmanson (-).

referees: Gytis Vilius (LIT), Tomislav Hordov (CRO) and Rein Peerandi (EST). They eliminated the visitor Onuaku by five personals (min.32).

incidents: Eurocup quarterfinal match played at the Palau Municipal d’Esports in Badalona in front of 7,217 spectators, some 1,300 of them from the Israeli team.

Focused on her work, La Penya took off at the end of the first round (22-7), driven by a dominant Tomic in the paint, author of six points and two assists. The inertia was maintained in the second quarter and Ventura reached the maximum difference with a triple (38-16, min.15).

The reaction of the visiting team came with their first triple, on the eleventh attempt, the work of Brown. Confidence changed sides and Hapoel punished the shots missed by Joventut to cut the deficit at halftime (40-29).

After the break, a 0-8 run forced Duran’s timeout (40-37, min.23) and Feliz, with a triple, unlocked La Penya. The Catalan team recovered its solidity and the duel became more physical, with little scoring. Brodziansky, with eleven points in the quarter, was key to maintaining the lead (60-51, min.30).

The elimination of Onuaku (min.32) due to five fouls threw Hapoel off center, but Joventut, without aim, did not know how to take advantage of it. With Brown at hand, the Israeli team grew to take the lead (70-71, min.38). At the moment of truth, the choral defensive effort, a tray by Feliz and the success of Parra from the free kick gave Joventut the pass (82-74).

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