It’s been over three months since Barça last played a competitive game, in Madrid on March against Estudiantes. Now, on Wednesday 17 at 3.30pm CEST, they are back in a very special game indeed. Due to the interruption to the schedule caused by Covid-19, the league title is being decided in single final stage featuring the 12 best ranked teams at the time of suspension playing at a single venue, Valencia.
The teams have been drawn into two groups of six, and the top two progress to the final four, also to be played in Valencia and all games as a single tie.
As fate would have it, Barça will be commencing this unprecedented event with a game against local rivals Joventut Badalona. The green and blacks have a young and energetic side coached by Carles Duran. The lowest ranked (12th) of the team at the event, they have nothing to lose, and have two of the best players in the ACB this season: Klemen Prepelic (22.3 points a game) and Alen Omic (10.8 points and 7.7 rebounds). With players like Morgan, Neno Dmitrijevic, Ventura, Zagars, Stevic, López Arostegui and Kanter around them, they are not a side to be taken lightly.
The five group stage games will be packed into just nine days. That’s one day on, one day off, so it’s all going to be a fascinating test of strength for these teams. Svetislav Pesic will be without Pau Ribas for the opener, who has just become a father for the first time, and now has until two hours before the game to decide which of the 12 names on his roster of 15 he is going to choose for the game.