“Sergi, do you want it?” There were 12.7 seconds left in the match and the Madrid players surrounded Chus Mateo in the last timeout. The coach looked at his captain, Llull, and did not hesitate to give him the ball despite the fact that he had not scored a basket until then. “I said yes and then I no longer remember anything, not even if there was a free teammate, or who was defending me, or how much time was left,” the 35-year-old veteran point guard recalled about that tangerine with 3.2 seconds to go, it will surely be the basket of his life.
“There is no other who scores those baskets more than him. All the teammates thought of giving him the ball. He had not scored one, but he has scored the win”, explained Chus Mateo, surrendered to Llull’s eternal faith: “It has not been an easy year for him, with the injury, playing less, assuming a role and always helping the team to improve”. Tavares, named MVP of the Final Four, also tipped his hat to the game director. “He is the best player in the world in the last second. He likes that pressure. The ball was in Sergio’s hand. The man who should have the ball is him, he was going to make a good decision. Who doesn’t know him? He is very dangerous, ”said the Cape Verde center.
Llull thus won his third European Cup, the same as Rudy Fernández (both before in 2015 and 2018) and Sergio Rodríguez (2015 and with CSKA in 2019). The Balearic point guard also stretched his record as the top scorer in the Final Four since 2002 (198 points) and as the leader in assists, 67 passes. “This is Real Madrid DNA. Heart, character and when tactics fail, what we have appears”, summed up the protagonist in Kaunas.
The madridistas, junior Euroleague champions
Real Madrid was proclaimed champion of the Junior Euroleague this Sunday after beating the Next Generation Team, a team specially formed for this tournament, 71-60 in the final, also held in Kaunas. The white team had agreed to the decisive match for the title after defeating Barcelona in the previous match by 72-54, a new victory in the classic that adds to the one achieved by the seniors in the semifinals on Friday.
The Real Madrid team, coached by Javier Juárez, thus conquered its fourth Euroleague junior crown, and surpasses CSKA Moscow in the list of winners in the competition, with three. Jan Vide, an 18-year-old Slovenian point guard for Madrid, was chosen as the best player in the final phase. Hugo González, a 17-year-old guard, also stood out in the whites, who this season has already participated in four Endesa League games with the first team.
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