Joventut Badalona has a great history in Spanish Liga Endesa, being one of the three clubs (the other two Real Madrid and Estudiades) that has never been relegated.
In the 70s and 90s, Badalona was considered one of the “giants” in the Spanish League, having won many trophies, including three Spanish Leagues, two Spanish King Cups and two Spanish Supercups.
Furthemore, it’s the only Spanish team, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, that have won the Euroleague.
Also, “Penya” is known for its academy’s tradition, from which many great basketball players were developed.
Namely, Rudy Fernandez and Ricky Rubio are “products” of Badalona’s academy. The two Spanish internationals led the team to new highs.
Between 2006 and 2008, Joventut won 3 trophies (FIBA Europe Cup, ULEB Cup and one Spanish Cup) and became relevant again on the Spanish and European basketball “life”.
After the two megastars left (Fernandez for the NBA, Rubio for Barcelona), financial insecurity again became a reality for the Catalan Club, which was trying to remain on the top-tier league the last ten years.
Last season, the historic club came very close to bankruptcy, but the shareholders of the team chose to save it from dissolution.
The Catalan team finished 15th in Liga Endesa on the worst season in the history of Joventut and avoided the relegation in the second tier league with 12 wins on 34 games.
Nicolas Laprovittola led his team with incredible performances on the second half of the season and helped the squad get through difficult situations.
The Argentinian guard averaged about 16 points and six assists per game and won the award of the player of the month for May in Liga Endesa.
Laprovittola deemed to be the key for the resurrection of the Spanish team. This year, Badalona returned to the playoffs by winning 18 games.
The “Catalans” finished seventh on the table of Liga Endesa and returned to the postseason after four years of absence.
The key player in this season’s run is the Spanish League MVP, Nicolas Laprovittola, who is leading his team in scoring (17,2 points per game), assists (6.9 per game), steals (1.0 per game) and minutes (30.6 per game).
In addition, Marko Todorovic makes his own contribution to the team. The Montenegrian forward-center has been averaging 11.2 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 1.0 block per game.
Also, Badalona received help from Thaddeus McFadden, who came in on March, and Shawn Dawson, who is the second best scorer in the team.
The historic club returned to its rightful place after the win against Manresa last Sunday, with everyone, from the players to the fans, clearly being emotional about their achievement.
And how could they not be? Badalona went through a devastating situation, but made a strong comeback.
Now, the team is ready to face Barcelona on the first round of the playoffs of Liga Endesa.
*Stats from RealGM