Sunday, December 3, 2023

Joventut: a wounded rival

A big game among the greats, the one that awaits the ‘green tide’ this Sunday (6:30 p.m.). Unicaja and Joventut meet at the José María Martín Carpena Sports Palace with sensations, on an emotional level, very different and with impeccable streaks of basketball. However, the typesetters are not going to find the same Penya that swept Valencia or Girona at the Badalona Olympics several weeks ago on the Malaga floor.

Basketball fans were able to see last Wednesday the true example of what it means to compete in the Endesa League. Gran Canaria and Joventut They did not do it in ACB, but they did transfer everything to a exciting Eurocup semifinal. Both were the great candidates to win the continental title and compete next year in the Euroleague. However, Unicaja’s rival will have to wait for his opportunity after falling into a whole ‘thriller’.

The meeting met expectations. It was very even until Jaka Lakovic’s men, starting in the third quarter, began to take advantage. A triple juggler from Albicy was about to close the game, but several triples from Joventut in the last seconds of the match made us think that nothing was over. Finally, the ‘Granca’ won, but could have fallen on the side of La Penya.

The next rival compositor had before him a golden opportunity to touch the international sky. Due to the level of the squad, the consolidation of the players in the systems and the game, it was the great opportunity… until the canaries appeared. For Ibon Navarro, not only are they now injured, but he considers them even more “dangerous”.

In ‘game’ is maintain that streak that would go up to 10 consecutive victories -between ACB and Basketball Champions League-, also to continue adding sensations for the Final Four and to continue putting pressure on Tenerife to reach fourth place for the Canaries, the next great objective of that ‘mini League’ in which Tenerife competes, Unicaja, Joventut and Gran Canaria.


Furthermore, it is not just any game for either of the two teams and it could have a key significance in the Endesa League standings. Right now, before starting day 29, two victories separate Unicaja (5th) and Joventut (6th) in the standings. Two victories that could become three, as long as the victory stays at the Martín Carpena, or two, in the event that Carles Durán’s men manage to prevail over Ibon Navarro’s men.

The average between the two sets must be taken into account. La Penya prevailed in Badalona (74-65) in a spectacular last quarter by Andrés Feliz that stopped any attempt to win green and purple. It is very likely that in the event of a cashier victory, it is not so important to look at the average because the difference would be three games won with only four to go. However, to be calmer, If Unicaja wants to have everything in their favor, they must win by +9 points. A minor difference or a defeat would leave Joventut ahead in case of equalizing the balance.

Now the final stretch begins to finish ordering all the teams in the table. The European front is there, but until May 12 the only thing that matters is to keep adding, and doing it against a direct rival like Joventut is a good point to work on.


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