Following a wait of more than a decade, DKV Joventut are once again in possession of a European basketball title.
A strong second quarter and a balanced scoring attack allowed DKV to defeat Khimki 88-63 in the EuroCup final held in Kyiv.
As the final buzzer sounded in a contest in which the outcome was clearly established, players came out to celebrate their title-game victory and cut down the nets.
"For our club it was important not only to make it to the Final Four but to win it," said DKV head coach Aito Garcia.
|DKV Joventut Badalona celebrate their EuroCup title|
After both teams had sluggish offensive performances in the first quarter, DKV came out firing on all cylinders in the second and outscored Khimki 28-18 to take a double-digit lead which they would maintain for the rest of the game.
"We were fortunate that after a weak start we were able to step up our defense and then start making shots that ultimately decided the game," said DKV´s Lubos Barton, who finished with a team-high 18 points.
"We had many players step up. This was a total team effort."
The strong quarter was punctuated by Rudy Fernandez, the EuroCup Final Four MVP.
Fernandez scored seven points for DKV in the final two minutes of the first half to clearly bring all momentum to his team´s side.
Fernandez hit a three from the corner with 43 seconds to go and following a Khimki turnover the 21-year old star broke away for a dunk that allowed DKV to go into halftime with a 43-30 lead.
"This was a great team effort and I am very happy to be a part of this," said Fernandez.
DKV increased their lead in the third quarter to as many as 20 after Marcelo Huertas´ lay-up with 3:35 remaining gave the Spanish side a 59-39 advantage.
|Lubos Barton led DKV with 18 points|
The Spanish continued their domination in the fourth and led by as many as 30.
Fernandez finished with 17 and Huertas chipped in with 12.
Elmer Bennett dished out a team-high seven assists.
"Rudy is one of the best talents in Europe and Elmer Bennett, even at 36 years of age, is in my opinion the best point guard in Europe," Barton said.
"I am happy for all my players because we played the right way," said Garcia.
Melvin Booker was able to keep Khimki in the game in the first half by scoring 14. He finished with 20 for the game.
Khimki was plagued by porous free throw shooting. They were 7-of-18 in the first half and 19-of-35 for the game.
DKV´s previous EuroLeague title was in 1994.