Rousing Welcome For DKV

From Tim Hanlon, PA Sport, Barcelona

More than 100 DKV Joventut fans waited at Barcelona's airport to welcome their heroes back after they lifted the EuroCup in Kyiv with an 88-63 victory over BC Khimki.

Rudy Fernandez was the name on their lips after his displays which earned him the MVP award in the final and his progress marks that of his club who have already set their sights on bigger goals.

Rudy Fernandez (DKV Joventut Badalona)
Rudy Fernandez averaged 19.5 ppg in the EuroCup Final Four
Aito Garcia´s team swept aside Khimki with 15 three-pointers to give DKV their first European trophy for 12 years.

It is over 30 years since Joventut were known as the 'hurricane' for their run of 48 consecutive wins but in Kyiv they tore apart the side from Moscow.

Fernandez is one of Spain's brightest up and coming talents who has been regularly watched by NBA scouts and is maturing into the finished article.

In front of the on-looking Larry Bird earlier in the season he was ill-at-ease and nervous but in Sunday's final he was at the forefront for DKV.

"It has been an incredible victory but this is only the first title because still there are a lot more for us to win," said Fernandez.

It was a special moment for president Jordi Villacampa who shares Fernandez's dream of bringing further European success to DKV although he realises that it is important not to get carried away.

"I was not able to hide in Kiev my emotion at managing this victory in the FIBA Cup final and this has compensated for all the nerves that we had," Villacampa said.

"I suffered badly when Khimki went ahead 9-2 but I always knew that the team would take control and, playing as it can, would go ahead. We did it in fantastic style in the second quarter and then after that it was easier although I did not want to believe that we had won right until the end when it was certain.

"There has been a lot of work involved in reaching a European final and winning it. I know because in 1994 I did it as a player lifting the old European Cup.

"(Winning this) involves a lot of travelling, breaking up the rhythm of the ACB and also the two Russian teams which reached the Final Four are at the top of their league and that is not easy.

"Now it is the time to celebrate but we cannot forget that we have still to go step by step. We are progressing well but the objective is to continue growing."


11.04.2006 - From Tim Hanlon, PA Sport, Barcelona
11.04.2006 - From Cindy Garcia-Bennett, PA Sport

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