For Joventut Badalona, the loan acquisition of Slovenian guard Klemen Prepelic from Real Madrid for the 2019-20 season is paying dividends.
Prepelic is averaging a career-high 22.4 points with 20 games completed for Joventut Badalona, including Sunday’s 86-83 upset victory over Real Madrid. The backcourt dynamo scored a game-high 22 points to lead Joventut Badalona’s comeback win over reigning Spanish Liga Endessa champion Real Madrid.
Joventut Badalona (9-11, tied with Baskonia and Obradoiro for 11th place in the Spanish League) trailed 17-10 after one quarter.
Real Madrid led 42-34 at halftime.
But then the teams were nearly evenly matched in the third period, with Joventut Badalona trailing 70-61 entering the final stanza.
As a result, it took a dominating effort by Prepelic and his teammates to stage a dramatic comeback.
Keys to victory
The underdogs outscored the hosts 25-13 over the final 10 minutes to earn the win.
Tony Wroten, a former University of Washington and NBA guard (Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies), scored the go-ahead basket near the end of the game, putting Joventut Badalona in front 84-83.
Prepelic finished strong on the offensive end, putting nine points on the board in the final four minutes. The 27-year-old shot 7-for-12 from the field.
A Prepelic 3-pointer had tied it at 81-81 with about 1:10 remaining.
Real Madrid fell to 15-5 in Spanish League play. The reigning champs are now tied with Zaragoza for the second-best record in the Spanish League, sitting one game behind Barcelona (16-4).
Barcelona defeated Iberostar Tenerife 87-83 on the same day.
Wroten finished with 13 points and five assists in 17 minutes in a dynamic first game for Joventut Badalona. He signed with the club at the end of January after competing for Poland’s Anwil Wloclawek this season. Wroten averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 in 16 games for the Polish club.
Also for Badalona, Kerem Kanter scored 12 points and Xabier Lopez-Arosteguj contributed six points and 10 rebounds.
Spirited effort by Joventut Badalona
Joventut Badalona entered the match with seven defeats in their last eight against league foes, but stepped up against a tough opponent.
This was accomplished on defense, collecting eight steals (eight players with one apiece) and forcing Real Madrid to commit 18 turnovers.
Real Madrid’s numbers
Jaycee Carroll scored 15 points and Gabriel Deck contributed 14 points and four assists for Real Madrid, which was 17-for-18 at the foul line.
Anthony Randolph poured in 13 points, Fabien Causeur had 11 and Jordan Mickey finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Eight Real Madrid players saw 19 or more minutes of court time.
Before the final buzzer, nine Joventut Badalona players logged 14 or more minutes.
After all, the stakes were high for both teams. Which is why both coaching staffs utilized the majority of their players in this tight game.