Unicaja Malaga should have an easy win vs. Joventut Badalona

In spite of the overtime win against Bilbao Basket, Joventut Badalona is from being a tough team at the Final Phase of Liga ACB. Their recent win happened because Bilbao committed huge mistakes in managing the last 30 seconds of the battle when they had 2 points ahead and the possession of the ball, wasting 2 good opportunities to seal the win. It was Bilbao’s loss, not actually Badalona’s win and as we know Bilbao played that game affected by a couple of missing players. That was the duel of the weakest team from the group and maybe from the Final Tournament in Valencia.

Today, Unicaja Malaga should have an easy mission to blow Joventut because the difference between the 2 squads is huge. Unicaja has the roster almost complete with at least 10 players who can score in double-digits, while the Catalan team is competing in this tournament with 7 youngsters. They are full of energy but too young and inexperienced at this level. The team from Badalona has only 5 foreigners and Kerem Kanter didn’t play the last game, so they can count only on Klemen Prepelic, Alen Omic, Oliver Stevic and Conor Morgan, helped by the Spanish teenagers.

Even if he played amazing, making the difference in some part of the game against Bilbao Basket, Klemen Prepelic has some muscular problem and he is not at his full potential. But the most important aspect is that Unicaja Malaga has a solid defense, superior to Bilbao’s one. There won’t be any open spaces to shot or to penetrate so easy in the paint as Joventut found it against the Basques. On both sides of the court, Unicaja is much better. They are also very motivated because they have to win as many games as possible in order to hope for the semifinals. A loss today, in front of a weak team as Badalona, would be tragic for them, lowering their morale and compromising the possibility to reach out of the group.

Image: Eurocup

Angel Jimenez