Unicaja, forced to stop UCAM Murcia

Unicaja, forced to stop UCAM Murcia

The second semi-final match could leave the leader shaken and even more thrown into the surprise of the playoffs.


Unicaja welcomes UCAM Murcia again this Thursday in the second match of the Endesa League semi-final playoff, after the 0-1 draw two days before at the Martín Carpena, forced to react to avoid being on the ropes against a rival who is very grown up and confident in making a splash.

Ibon Navarro’s men, champions of the regular phase in the best season in their history, had no problems against BAXI Manresa in the quarterfinals, but now they have come across a UCAM with clear ideas. Sito Alonso’s team eliminated Valencia Basket with two away victories at La Fonteta and on Tuesday they were also able to take over Carpena with a great game.

The series, the best of five games now, thus puts in check an intractable Unicaja throughout the season, but which failed in the heat of the important minutes against the Murcians. Kendrick Perry returned without rhythm or success after injury and the Malaga team did not find the usual artillery due to a great defensive version of Sito Alonso’s men.

Again, as against Valencia, the Madrid coach played an intense game and stole the rebound from his rival supported in attack by Dustin Sleva, Howard Sant-Ross and Dylan Ennis. Now, Navarro will undoubtedly have learned his lesson and, once again with more than 10,000 fans pushing, Unicaja will try to equalize the series.

The history of the semi-final ‘playoff’ is with UCAM after putting this 0-1, since 60% of the times it happened, that team reached the final. Navarro’s team, who had beaten Alonso’s team in the six games prior to Tuesday’s game, are confident of stopping a rival who is beginning to believe in their chances of something big.

In fact, for UCAM Murcia, with the added value of not having two pillars like Simon Birgander and Marko Todorovic, their presence in the semifinals is already historic, since until now they had not reached the penultimate round, when they compete for the second time. ‘playoffs’ for the title after falling in the quarterfinals in 2016.



UNICAJA: Díaz, Kalinoski, Barreiro, Ejim and Kravish –possible starting quintet–; Perry, Osetkowski, Taylor, Carter, Djedovic, Lima, Thomas and Sima.

UCAM MURCIA: Ennis, Caupain, R.Kurucs, Sleva and Diagné –possible starting quintet–; Hakanson, Flores Radovic, Radebaugh, Sant-Ross and Morin.

–REFEREES: García González, Caballero and Araña.

–PAVILLION: José María Martín Carpena Sports Palace.

–TIME: 20.30/Movistar+.