Who will win the Spanish battle of the BCL Final Four?

The Basketball Champions League Final Four will be held this weekend in Belgrade’s Stark Arena and we will see three representatives of the Spanish ACB League competing for the title together with the Greek side Peristeri which surprised most people who expected to see last year’s champions Bonn completing the Final Four participant’s list.

While the first game of the tournament will be played between two-time BCL champions Tenerife and Peristeri (coached by the legendary former player Vassilis Spanoulis) we will focus now on the second semifinal which will be an all-Spanish encounter between UCAM Murcia and Unicaja Malaga.

Both teams had a great season so far in the BCL and completely deserve their place in the Final Four. Murcia is 11-3 this season in the BCL and never lost by more than 4 points. Statistically, the team is led by Marko Todorovic in points, rebounds and PIR, while Dylan Ennis dished the most assists per game.

Meanwhile, Malaga used to be a regular participant in the EuroLeague but had a few difficult seasons in the past couple of years. However, this season Unicaja seems to be back on track and they once again look like a powerhouse. Ibon Navarro’s team lost only twice this BCL season and has a 12-2 record. Not only that, but after 30 rounds played in the ACB League Malaga is in the first place with a 25-5 record (tied with Real Madrid). Kendrick Perry has the most points per game and also assists per game in the BCL for the Andalusian side while Dylan Osetkowski and David Kravish lead the team in rebounding.

So far this season the two sides met twice and Malaga won both games. In September they played in the Spanish SuperCup semifinals and Unicaja won 79-74. The second encounter was played in Murcia in December in Round 15 of the ACB. It was an easy win for the greens who dominated the first three quarters and won 88-65 in the end.

Based on these results Unicaja is the clear favourite not only on Friday but on Sunday too, when the fans from Malaga expect to celebrate the first BCL title in the club’s history.

Imre Halasz

Image: Malaga Hoy