Novel, without great recent experiences beyond domestic competition, but heir to a mythical team from the Old Continent, finalist of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1979 and intercontinental runner-up in 1982, with 12 League titles to his name. He is thus the first rival of Unicaja in the Preliminary Phase of the Basketball Champions League after the Heroes Den Bosch comfortably beat Siauliai in the quarterfinals this Wednesday (85-73) in a soulless Martín Carpena.
The start of the match was the start of a typical friendly match. Maladjusted, without control and very impulsive. Den Bosch went from being 10-2 in favor to 12-14 against in a matter of minutes. The lack of shooting and a very competitive level was evident in both teams and neither of them showed a great collective game, but rather good individual flashes as a cover letter.
In that small fight at a particular level, the Dutch managed to perform better, or at least with better percentages. With more accuracy in the shot and some defensive intensity, they hit the table during the second quarter to put on the scoreboard a comfortable 35-21 in their favor. El Siauliai, tied hand and foot at the time, was unable to step forward to compensate for the result. He could do nothing against figures like those of the Latvian Verners Kohs, one of the great participants in that 50-28 at halftime.
From that great difference, there seemed little that the Siauliai could do. Those from the Netherlands had everything under control, but the story changed dramatically after the protagonists returned to the track. The roles were reversed and then it was the Dutch who suffered a terrible offensive blackout. A 12-24 run from Siauliai put them just 10 behind. They already knew which way to go.
However, a multitude of errors both in attack and defense ended the Balts’ hope of being able to catch up with their rival on the scoreboard. Their energy ran out and their ideas clouded. Den Bosch, hand in hand with their great leaders, once again established the advantage above 15 points -without having to practice great basketball to reach the semifinals- to sentence the match.
Point guard Emmett Naar finished as the best player of the match with 17 points, 7 assists and a PIR of 24. In addition, Thomas Van der Mars (12 points, 11 rebounds and a PIR of 23) and Verners Kohs (17 points and a PIR of 14) stood out.
So Unicaja already knows its rival with whom it will appear on the scene next Friday from 8:30 p.m.a match that, beyond being life or death in the FIBA tournament, will serve as a presentation on the Martín Carpena court and as a tribute to two European champions: albert Diaz Y Darius Brizuela. However, you will have to be vigilant. The Breogán, for now, is already eliminated in Europe.
Kauhajoki – Levice
On the other side of the draw, the semifinal crossing is also defined after the victory of the Slovakian Patrioti Levice by 79-70 against the Hungarian Egis Kormend. After the match went to the break in favor of the Ottomans, despite the great equality (39-40), Michal Madzin’s men took advantage of a remarkable third quarter (19-11) to reaffirm their chances of competing against Karhu Kauhajoki from Finland, seeded alongside typesetter.
This first match will be played next Friday at 5:30 p.m., the prelude to Unicaja – Den Bosch, which will be used to see the people of Malaga in action with the full squad in the great challenge before the Endesa League begins: get the ticket to play the Preliminary Phase of the BCL.