La Font de Sant Lluís, Valencia is the venue on Tuesday 30 June (8.00pm CEST) for a Liga Endesa final with a difference. Typically the final is played as a best-of-five series, but this year and due to Covid-19, the competition is being completed by a much shorter method. Everything comes down to 40 minutes of all-or-nothing basketball in a game that will be played behind closed doors.
Valencia has hosted the whole of the playoff series featuring the 12 highest ranked teams at the time lockdown put a halt to play. Barça topped their 6-team group with a 4-1 record, and were joined in the semi-finals by Kirolbet Baskonia (3-2).
Both sides won their semi-finals against San Pablo Burgos and hosts Valencia Basket respectively, meaning they will now meet again to decide the title. Barça won a tight encounter 81–75 when the two teams met in the group stage just nine days ago.
Barça are looking to win the trophy for the first time since 2014. Only Tomic and Abrines remain from the squad, and an ACB medal would be a new honour for the rest of the roster.
Meanwhile their opponents from Vitoria in the Basque Country, another of the traditional giants of the ACB, are winless since 2010. Barça have won the competition more times than any other (15), while Baskonia have three crowns to their name.
Coached by Dusko Ivanovic, who was in charge of Barça from 2005 to 2008, the standout players on the Baskonia team include Georgian power forward Tornike Shengelia, who has averaged 16 points and 6.2 rebounds this season. Shields, Polonara, Dragic, Vildoza and Henry have all been particularly outstanding during the playoffs, while they can also draw on the dangerous services of Granger, Janning, Eric and Diop.