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15.10.2009 13:59


Carles Cascante

October 15, 2009. Six days before turning 19, Ricky Rubio has made his official debut at the Palau Blaugrana. The focus of all attention, the youngster managed six assists and two steals.

This was the kind of the day that one never forgets. Rubio made his official debut in front of his new fans, and the Palau, a place that knows its basketball well, was keen to see what the player could do in his first start in the pavilion.

First on court

2009-10-14_BASKET_13.JPGShortly after seven thirty, Ricky Rubio made his first contact with the Palau faithful. Already kitted out, the summer’s star signing was the first player to start warming up. At 8.20, ten minutes before tip off against Valencia Basket Club, Ricky was already in the players’ tunnel and ready to hear his name called out for the first time – it was time for the squad presentation.

He timidly moved forward and accepted the rapturous welcome from his new and adoring fans. After the game, he explained just what it was like to experience all of this for the first time. "I am very happy to have made my debut like that. I have learned about the ‘Palau factor’ as a visitor, this place has a very special warmth to it. That’s very important. Today we won easily, but there will be harder games and we need this support."

From the start

2009-10-14_BASKET_35.JPGRicky started the first game of the campaign at the Palau. Jaka Lakovic being injured, Xavi Pascual has few options for the point guard position, and whereas Sada had started in Santiago de Compostela, at the Palau against Valencia Basket Club, the honour went to Ricky.

It may have seemed an easy win, but it actually required plenty of hard work, especially at the back, where the point guard is the first line of defence, one of the youngster’s finest virtues, as Víctor Sada said after the game. "Ricky is one of the best players around for stealing balls." He didn’t manage any points, but his six assists and two steals in twenty minutes helped the side to a win.

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Off with a friend
Rubio left the Palau Blaugrana minutes before 23.00. After speaking to the many reporters waiting for him, he walked up to the Palau Blaugrana box, where a friend was waiting to take him away in a car. That marked the end of a special day for the player, one who is destined to write a whole set of new pages in the FC Barcelona history books.

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