Barcelona won their 26th Copa del Rey , the third in the last four years, after beating Madrid in the final with a devastating start to the game in which they reached a 24-point lead. Barça's potential and physical vigor took ahead in that section to a rival unsettled by ailments and casualties. Later, the whites proudly stretched the abdication of the cupbearer's throne, but Barça remained firm until lifting the trophy with the we are the champions echoing in the WiZink Center. The luxurious culé project, founded in 2019 and culminated last summer with the signings of Sarunas Jasikevicius and Nick Calathes, achieves its first conquest. Cory Higgings ( mvp of the final), Roland Smits and Calathes himself rounded out Nikola Mirotic's first Cup as a Barça player in style. A title won with ambition and celebrated with hunger. Barça devoured the Cup in Madrid.
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There was a time when the two greats of Spanish basketball – who have divided 53 of the 64 disputed leagues (83%) – lowered their guard in the cupbearer tournament. But, since 2009, they don't let anyone but them touch the trophy. Due to voracity, heraldry or pressing needs, as the case may be, Barça and Madrid have turned the Cup into rearmament territory. In 2012 he served Laso to gain credibility and travel, the first title on his curriculum arrived at Sant Jordi. In 2015 the trophy underpinned a project that was touched after the hard defeats of the previous year. And, in 2018 and 2019, Pesic's in extremis titles allowed Barça to contain the growth of Madrid's record. There was never a cup left over to throw in the bag. More than a decade without concessions. And with that ambition, both contestants launched into the first fight for the throne behind closed doors. Laso sought to extend his dynasty. Mirotic and Jasikevicius fought to inaugurate their showcases as a Barça player. And the voracity prevailed over the veteran.
Introduced the Lithuanian coach to his gala quintet (with the exception of Pustovyi for Davies) and Laso moved with a lineup adapted to the rival and the circumstances (with the last minute drop of Rudy, which joined those of Randolph and Taylor). Tavares was saved, moved Deck to four to hold Mirotic and gave Abalde reel, who barely added six minutes on average in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Chess gave way to basketball. And, at the first onslaught, the difference between a stony team and another ailing one was discovered, disheartened by the accumulation of problems. Madrid also failed in the staging (2 of 9 in field shots in the first seven minutes) and Barça took the opportunity to take a run in the game and the scoreboard. The whites began by losing their step, but ended up dismounting. There was hardly an end.
With Smits as the unexpected protagonist, Jasikevicius's team quickly marked territory and distance. The Barça bench celebrated the first foul whistled at Tavares as if it were a goal and all doubts were unleashed for Madrid. Barça's defense in that section was a voracious herd that ate their rival in the first quarter (9-20, m. 9). Alocen's legs allowed Laso's team to air out claustrophobia for a few moments, but Jasikevicius tightened the nuts again, Tavares' second staff arrived and the figures grew even more for Barça. Mirotic's march to the locker room, to be treated with a blow to the side, was the only setback for the Catalans.
Neither the problems of his star disrupted the Barça plan. Madrid had the waterways accumulated in defense, Laso did not find the mix of his quintet and the final became an ordeal for the whites against a tougher, more intense and successful rival. Barça did not concede a millimeter in any table of the parquet, controlled the rhythm of the game and the rebound. Davies, Mirotic, and Smits rocked freely. Jasikevicius's team became a turbine of fast hands and suffocating pressure, while Laso's team punished between turnovers and forced shots (29-52, m. 19). "The success is important and the first thing we have to do is try to get a basket," Laso analyzed in the intermission before the poor shooting percentages of his team (2 of 12 in triples and 9 of 20 in shots of two).
Before Madrid could test the amendment proposal, Higgins raised the Barca income to +24 (31-55, m. 21). And, at that moment, Laso put the emergency plan in motion, with Garuba pressing Calathes and Westermann at full speed on the rise of the ball. Madrid bit part of the disadvantage with a 9-0 run. But between Abrines and Higgings they put down the first rival outburst (from 40-55 to 40-61). Garuba went deep on his mission while his team unsuccessfully groped the epic genre. In that section, the systole and diastole of the Barca advantage became a I want and I can not of Madrid, which paid for its defensive efforts with the blur in attack (from 50-63 to 50-69, m. 30). Calathes finished with as many assists (9) as all of Madrid in full. Carroll was left without scoring and Higgins reached 20 points. Laso's men found no cracks in the Barça wall. The Cup was from Barça