Pau Gasol had not been in the ACB League Playoff for 20 years and he did it in a big way leading Barça against Joventut (84-74) in the first match of the quarter-final tie between the two Catalan teams.
The center of Sant Boi ended his match back to the final phase of the Endesa League with 14 points, 6 rebounds and a block in 19 minutes of play. The legend, at 40, finished with a +18 valuation, the eldest of the Barça team.
Pau’s last meeting in a final phase of the ACB it was the third game of the 2001 final against Real Madrid, which the Catalans won 84-96 at Raimundo Saporta with 22 points and 10 rebounds from Catalan, proclaimed unanimous MVP of the grand final after sealing the title with 3-0 over the whites.
On his return to the Playoff, Pau took an unfortunate ball in the face of Víctor Claver, although the play was an anecdote more than the first victory of the Catalans in the final phase.
After the blow at the Final Four in Cologne, Pau was hopeful with Barça’s victory against Joventut. “We started the Playoff with victory!”commented on Twitter. “Força Barça! “he added.