Road to Final Four: Unicaja Malaga

Host of the Basketball Champions League Final Four tournament, Unicaja Malaga had the longest road to get here. But they succeeded and the competition is starting to become a Spanish tradition, the 4th consecutive year in which there are two teams from Spain in the Final Four and there are good chances that it will be the 4th consecutive year with the winning team from Spain.

In order to reach the main groups, they had to pass two qualification rounds, it is true against modest opponents. It was a 114-58 win with Den Bosch followed by a 91-73 with Levice. They were assigned to Group G, along with PAOK, Dijon and Dinamo Sassari. They started the competition with 5 victories, winning the group, the only defeat was in the last round in a match without a stake for them against Dinamo Sassari 92-82. In the Round of 16, they were in Group K, along with Galatasaray, Limoges and AEK, winning this group too with 5 wins and a single defeat against Galatasaray 72-67. In the Quarter-Finals, they were the only team that managed to qualify in two matches against another team from Spain, UCAM Murcia after 83-67 in the first match and 96-74 in the second match.

Their offensive game can also be seen in the statistics, 84.7 ppg (1st), 20.8 apg (2nd) and 35.6 rpg (10th). They have a lot of players who play about 20 minutes per game and that make it difficult for most opponents. Dario Brizuela 13.1 ppg, 2.4 ast; David Kravish 11.6 ppg, 5.3 reb and Kendrick Perry 11.1 ppg, 2.3 reb, 4.1 ast are the only players in double digits as averages, although the team has the best offense in the league.

Due to the advantage given by the organization of the Final Four, the very long rotation and the variety of game schemes, they are along with Tenerife, the main two favorites to win the trophy. But compared to Tenerife, the average age of the team is 3 years younger 26 vs 29, so this could be a decisive advantage in the case of a direct match.

Valentin Petruta

Photo credit: Basketball Champions League