It was not to be. Barça have lost to Baskonia 67-69 in an exceptional no-second-chances do-or-die Liga Endesa final. In the fast-tracked final series due to the Covid-19 crisis, the blaugrana had won all six games to get to the final but couldn’t go the final step in a right, very low-scoring duel on Tuesday night.
Barça were chasing their 19th league title, but the first since 2013/14. But no. Instead, Baskonia can celebrate their fourth domestic crown.
The tiredness of playing games every other day for a fortnight clearly showed. Baskonia hit first, going 9-15 up before Barça bit back with a 7-0 streak and moved ahead and started the second period with a 10-0 run to go nine-clear.
An awesome turnaround with Heurtel and Kuric simply spectacular with the 3-pointers. Following a slow start, Barça were coasting.
Baskonia tightened things up. Barça’s flowing play ceased and instead a number of possessions were lost and a 5-0 streak got the Basques back in touch, to eventually pull level at 41-41 and then edge into a slender lead. This game was going to go down to the wire…
Baskonia found their 3-point touch just when Barça least wanted them to. It could have been either side’s game, but the ball went in for Baskonia just slightly more than it wanted to for Barcelona. With three seconds to go, Vildoza found the target with the score that did it. Congratulations to Baskonia. Barça will have to wait.
Barça: Hanga (3), Higgins (14), Claver (4), Mirotic (8), Tomic (2). Davies (4), Heurtel (21), Oriola (3), Kuric (8).
Baskonia: Vildoza (17), Henry (2), Shields (14), Shengelia (9), Eric (2). Janning (8), Diop (10), Dragic (3), Polonara (4).
Periods: 16-17 / 39-33 / 51-51 / 67-69
Referees: Carlos Francisco Peruga, Daniel Hierrezuelo, Antonio Rafael Conde.