U18 Joventut Badalona secured third place at the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Varese by fending off U18 Casademont Zaragoza 52-43 in an all-Spanish battle.
Joventut beats Zaragoza for third place
Joventut, the 2013 continental champion, held Zaragoza scoreless for the final 4:53 minutes and forced 29 turnovers to get the victory. Ruben Prey poured in 22 points with 6 rebounds and Conrad Martinez added 13 points for the winners. Miguel Flores tallied 11 points and Manuel Zapater added 10 points for Zaragoza, which despite the loss still had its best-ever ANGT finish of fourth place after taking fifth at ANGT Istanbul last year.
Flores opened the scoring for Zaragoza and Zapater made it 0-6. Joventut failed to score for nearly the first 6 minutes before Jordi Rodriguez finally put the team on the scoreboard. Prey followed with 2 three-pointers to knot the game at 8-8 before Carlos Alias netted the final 4 points of the first quarter and Zaragoza led 8-12 after 10 minutes. Neither team scored in the first 2 minutes of the second quarter until Gerard Bosch’s free throw. After Pavle Stosic made it 9-14, Prey scored 4 points and Martinez knocked down a triple to make it 16-14. Alejandro Moreno and Flores both hit from deep and Zaragoza went to the locker room ahead 20-23.
Prey continued his strong game with another triple among his 5 points as Joventut went up 29-25. Prey added 6 more points as the lead grew to 35-29. The game remained tight and Flores knocked down a pair of three-pointers and Zaragoza tailed just 40-37 after 30 minutes. Martinez scores 5 points early in the fourth quarter as the cushion swelled to 46-39. Zapater trimmed it to 48-43 with under 5 minutes to play, but Zaragoza could not score the rest of the game and Joventut added 3 more free throws for the win.