In a day full of basketball matches, we have an interesting derby in Spain, where Baskonia will host Unicaja Malaga in the third round. Baskonia won one game and lost the other one, against Barcelona in overtime, while Unicaja has a poor start, with two defeats against Manresa and Tenerife. Both teams played in European competitions, let’s see a preview of the game.
Baskonia started the season with a good victory over Estudiantes and an overtime loss to Barcelona. During this week, they started a new Euroleague campaign with a victory at Kaunas against Zalgiris 70-58. They led the entire game without any emotions, despite some notable absentees in Jayson Granger or Nik Stauskas. Shavon Shields (19 points and 5 rebounds) and Tornike Shengelia (13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists) were the main contributors for the team. Their 3-point shooting was very poor, but they managed to win thanks to their inside the arc shooting, where they made 22 out of 33 attempts. For this game against Unicaja, Granger (who will be out for six months) and Stauskas are out.
Unicaja started the season with two losses in the national league, but this week they started a new Eurocup season with a victory over Buducnost 83-70. Their shooting was poor but they got some help from Buducnost because they scored only 4 three-pointers out of 17 attempts. Unicaja won the rebounds battle and also have fewer fouls, but their shooting is still their main problem as it was in the first two Liga Endesa games. The main contributors were Volodymyr Gerun (19 points) and Josh Adams (15 points and 3 rebounds), both being the only players that scored in double-digit. The only absentee for this game against Baskonia is Axel Toupane.
Baskonia have the first chance to win the game because they play on home ground and also have a bigger and powerful roster. It’s interesting to see if Unicaja can recover from their poor shooting start and finish a game with over 50% shots made. The recent history is with Vitoria-based club, with 8 last meetings all won by Baskonia.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc