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Barton Unsung Hero For DKV

09 April 2006

Rudy Fernandez may have garnered MVP honours at the EuroCup Final Four in Kyiv, but on one of the deepest rosters in European basketball, team-mate Lubos Barton was a telling contributor in DKV Joventut's run to the EuroCup title.

The Czech forward played an instrumental part in DVK's defeat of home side BC Kyiv in the semi-finals, scoring eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.

He followed that up with a game high 18 points in final against BC Khimki on a blistering 5-of-6 shooting from the three-point line.

Despite having a very real claim to the MVP title, Barton was more than gracious for the award to pass to Fernandez.

"Rudy is an exceptional talent and obviously deserves MVP. He had a great game in the semis and hit some big shots today too," he said 

Barton was also quick to point out that DVK is far more than a one-man set-up.

"The great thing about this team is we have a lot of players who can step up. We have good big guys, the best point guard in Spain (Elmer Bennet). It's fun to play," he said.

One of the keys to Barton's value to DKV coach Aito Garcia is his versatility. With Aloysius Anagonye sidelined by injury and centers Andy Betts and Robert Archibald in foul trouble during the final, Barton was called upon to play out of position.

"I'm playing at the power forward position the whole game and the coach is confident with me guarding the opposing power forwards. I have to do whatever is best for the team whether it be shooting the ball, rebounding, defense or whatever," he said.

Ultimately, Joventut's achievement in winning the EuroCup title was more about the club and the team, a fact that Barton is quick to draw attention to.

"To win this trophy is huge. Joventut has a big history in the past and the club was on a low profile and so far this season we are doing really well and this EuroCup really shows it."

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Mariupol, UKR
Gmunden, AUT
Riga, LAT
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Khimki, Moscow Region, RUS
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