Everything is set in Vitoria for a great final of the Copa del Rey. It’s the last hurdle separating the team from their third Cup at the orders of Xavi Pascual and, perhaps best of all, the fourth Cup final in a row. It is the first time since the Cup has been organised in the current format that a team from the Endesa League has managed to do this. This Sunday (7 pm, TV3 and TVE), Barça can win the 23rd Cup in the Club’s illustrious history.
13 years since the last Cup triumph
Valencia Basket have had to wait seven years since their last appearance in a Cup final. In 2006, they took on Tau Cerámica in Madrid but lost 80-85. Their last Cup success was in 1998 under legendary coach Miki Vukovic, when they overcame Joventut Badalona by 89-75 with wonderful performances from Nacho Rodilla, Tim Perry and Aaron Swinson. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then.
On the way to the final, the team coached by Perasovic made easy work in the quarterfinals of Asefa Estudiantes (77-59), while on Saturday they brushed aside Herbalife Gran Canaria 83-72. Despite not having a rest day, Persovic has been able to spread the load among his squad and take the pressure off his star players thanks to Valencia’s comfortable leads in both games.
Valencia Basket have an average of 10 three-pointers per game in this Cup campaign so the threat from outside the 6.75 line will be one for Barça to watch. Rafa Martínez and the unpredictable Thomas Kelati are the main danger men while former Manresa star Justin Doellman could also add to the threat.
A win for the record books
At about 9 pm we’ll find out if Barça Regal can make it three Cups at the orders of Xavi Pascual and 23 in the history of FC Barcelona, thereby equalling the record held by Real Madrid. Just 40 minutes away from delighting basketball fans everywhere and continuing to build the Barça legend. Game on!