The most heroic Madrid knock Barça down and shine a star

The 18-year-old youth squad Tristan Vukcevic made up for Tavares' poor performance and launched the Whites to an epic triumph at the Palau the day Pau Gasol returned.


A truly heroic Madrid, without exaggerating one iota, won at the Palau Blaugrana (85-87) with a 2 + 1 final from Laprovittola after squandering a 9-point lead in the last minute after conceding an 11-1 run in just 36 seconds (from 74-83 to 85-84). Lapro changed the script, which was already a thriller, with only 4 seconds left in one of the craziest endings of Classic that are remembered, at least, without the Instant Replay in between. The first place in the regular phase already has an owner except for hecatomb. The whites won without Deck, who is going to the NBA, or the injured Thompkins (and without Campazzo or Randolph, of course) and add to that the worst performance of the course by Tavares, eliminated by five fouls in just 10 minutes. And they won with the youngest inner couple in the history of Barça-Madrid, Tristan Vukcevic (18 years and one month) and Usman Garuba (19 and 1). Between the two homegrown players, they are three years and 7 months less than Pau Gasol, who will turn 41 in July and was the main protagonist before the duel. The best ever Spanish player returned to the ACB 20 years later and was left without a presence in the second half. In the first, -18 with him on the court in 9 minutes.

This special day for Pau may be remembered in the future for the birth of a star, the birth of Vukcevic in the elite, a power forward weighing 2.08, and who at the moment does not exceed 100 kilos, with talent, great shooting and a scoring facility that comes standard. Tristan has Swedish nationality, although he was born in Siena (Italy), he grew up in Greece and his father is Serbian with a Greek passport, a former forward of quite class called Dusan Vukcevic, who landed in Madrid signed by Scariolo just in the summer in the that Gasol was flying to the NBA. This Sunday, two decades later, his son made possible the duel that his father did not experience in the first person in a Classic. From the initial shyness, getting the ball off him as soon as he received it in his ninth game with the majors, to resolve with threw in the last quarter. Talent runs fast. He achieved 6 of his 11 points in the vital section, in addition to chaining absolutely decisive actions behind. It is not easy to signify himself in a block on a heroic day and he did it with the newly released coming of age.

The Whites gave a superb performance at the Palau to honor a rival like Gasol. At the limit of his possibilities and beyond, with the two fouls by Tavares weighing down the initial plan (and the fourth in the opening seconds of the third period, all at 7:39 on the track) and forcing many Vukcevic minutes to coincide (no experience in rounds of such depth) and a fantastic Garuba, which monopolized the inner juice.The Istanbul team

It was the continuation of the Madrid that we saw on Thursday in Istanbul, perhaps with a little less success (15 out of 34 out of three), but managing the pace, a slow one, with pick and shovel in defense and attack, and excellent in competitiveness . He held down rival shooters (everything that Kuric can be tied to short) and read the advantage situations with a perimeter as veteran as he was intelligent. At the helm, Laprovittola, with confidence (8 points and 4 assists at halftime). He lost, yes, two balls of the (only) three of his team.

At Barça, a very weak start (2-11) with Gasol as the starter and with problems closing the rebound. Between Tavares and Tyus, the latter face to face with Mirotic as in the first part of the last Clásico, they added four baskets. Edy attacked Pau with shivers and the post and stopped him at the other hoop. Too many culés losses and very few assists, there was no coral, so Higgins dragged the car, and then Calathes and a Kuric that broke the drought from the triple.

From Gasol to Davies

Brandon Davies's entry brought maximum energy under the basket and soon Smits contributed expressly. The slogan, to attack the newcomer Vukcevic, who escaped alive and well, despite suffering in several rejections. Barça cut the gap to three (17-20) and Rudy momentum opened it again to 14 (22-36). Something similar to what we saw in the resumption with Abalde, who scored seven goals in a row (35-49) in full Barça pressure throughout the field that not only did not loosen, but also multiplied and brought great revenues. Huge work by Davies, who sheltered the base in midfield in the two against one. And in those times Mirotic came into action to soon take over from a Calathes who danced to his rivals after the block and his own continuation, to the hoop, trays and fouls. Until almost all visitor savings are absorbed: 57-59.

And when it seemed that Madrid was going to drown on the same shore ... Laso's men took another life from who knows where. Causeur in vein, triplazo by Vukcevic, another by Llull from 9 meters plus Garuba's basket: 61-74. The Real flew with just gasoline, so it ended up planning. Tavares returned (Gasol did not do it) and committed the fifth after losing a silly ball, his worst day in months. Calathes, Mirotic and Higgins filed distances: 74-78, minute 37. After more than 100 seconds without anyone scoring, another triple by Vukcevic, after three huge defenses from the squad jumping vertically to contain the Catalans penetrations, and two free throws Carroll's seemed to sentence: 74-83 with only 52 seconds left. Big mistake.

The Impossible Minute: Herreros, Mirotic and ... Laprovittola

Do you remember that impossible minute crowned by Herreros in 2005? It happened again, this time with Mirotic nailing the supposed triple winner with a previous feint to Rudy. It seemed without a doubt that of victory 10 seconds from the horn after a Barça partial of 11-1.

“We celebrate too soon”, Laso would later say. And maybe Barça also did it, very stopped in a last attack in which Laprovittola entered the kitchen and Abrines with a meter and a half lost hit him from behind: 2 + 1 triumphant, in one of the most extravagant outcomes that come to us to memory. It was won by Lapro at the birth in the elite of a possible star, Tristán Vukcevic. It will give something to talk about, like this Classic.

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