Real Madrid U18 survived a late scare to oust last season’s winners Red Star Belgrade U18 73-70 and win the championship game of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament for the first time in Madrid on Sunday afternoon.
In a thrilling finale, Red Star brought it back to 71-70 with 15 seconds to go thanks to a three-pointer from Aleksandar Aranitovic after being ten points down in the latter stages.
Jonathan Barreiro was quickly fouled and made both his foul shots to give Real a 73-70 cushion. The 4,000 fans inside the Barclaycard Center then gradually rose to their feet to witness what was thought to be the last Red Star possession when Santiago Yusta stole the inbounds with 6.8 left.
Yusta was instantly fouled, which sent Real Madrid guard to the free throw line, but the guard fluffed his lines, leaving Red Star with one more chance for glory.
Aranitovic though failed to connect on his desperation three-pointer allowing the pro-Madrid crowd to celebrate.
Barreiro led Real with 19 points with Yusta adding 15.
“I am thrilled to win this trophy,” Real Madrid’s young Slovenian prospect Luka Doncic, who bagged 14 points said.
“We have worked really hard to get this far and I am happy for my team.”
Aranitovic led all scorers for Red Star with 26 points. Vojislav Stojanovic also stood out with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double but it wasn’t to be.