The Badalona King’s Cup starts this Monday for Unicaja and the rest of the participating teams. Starting at 12 noon, the draw for the pairings of the quarterfinal crosses and the rest of the draw of the ko will take place, which will start on Thursday, February 16 and will have its very final on Sunday 19 at the Olimpic de Badalona.
Unicaja faces the draw in pot 2, that of those who are not seeded. That means that he will face one of the fourth seeds as his opponent in the quarterfinals: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Baskonia either lenovo tenerife.
It is evident that the cross that Goddess Fortune throws at him will be very hard because, in addition, the four teams that can touch him have already beaten him this season. Real Madrid is the only team that has been able to attack Martín Carpena this league season. The whites beat Unicaja 71-76 on matchday three. The other three possible rivals have also surpassed Unicaja. Baskonia beat him in Vitoria 103-89 in the league debut. Barça beat the greens 75-60 at the Palau Blaugrana on December 18 and Lenovo Tenerife also beat Unicaja in the league clash held in La Laguna two weeks ago by a tighter 91-84.
The truth is that any rival that Unicaja touches in the quarterfinals is going to be a favorite in the tie, but it is also true that none of the four seeded teams will welcome their duel against Ibon Navarro’s team with joy.
Put to elucidate, it seems clear that Real Madrid and Barça are the two rivals to avoid yes or yes in the draw. The two “big ones” are always the two top favorites in a Copa del Rey. In addition to the undoubted talent of the white and blaugrana squads, two of the best in Europe, there are always other parallel “factors” that make it even more difficult to eliminate meringues or culés. The experience of two seasons ago, when Fotis Katsikaris’s Unicaja put Barça on the ropes, but could not finish off the job because of a flagrant personal foul by Davies to Abromaitis4 tenths from the end, with a tie on the scoreboard, which the referees did not see, is a good example of how difficult it is to get any of the “big guys” down in the quarterfinals of the Cup.
Baskonia would not be an easy rival either if they were the one that the draw brings up this Monday. The Basques have shown so far this season to be a very reliable team in the Endesa League and also in the Euroleague, where they have been among the top 8 since the first day. It is true that the Basques are not going through a good time. Injuries have affected Joan Peñarroya’s teamwho is not so fine now, but who knows in four weeks if he recovers his level of a month ago, which would make him a fearsome rival in those hypothetical quarterfinals for Unicaja or for any other team that touches him in the quarterfinals .
The rival that could be better received by the compositor staff and by the “Green Tide” is Lenovo Tenerife. The respect towards the island team is absolute on the part of the club and the fans, but it really looks like the most affordable of the four possible options from the first hype.
Lenovo clearly has a less deep squad than Baskonia and, above all, Real Madrid and Barça. In addition, the duel between the canaries and typesetters of the first round of the league was very balanced, despite the losses of Brizuela (injured) and Sima (the signing of him has not yet been finalized). A Lenovo Tenerife-Unicaja quarterfinal would be an open game in which it seems that the Greens would have serious options to dream of their place in the semifinals.
This Monday, from 12 noon, speculation will give way to the reality of a draw in which Unicaja will seek its “luck” cup. Good or bad, that will only be known from February 16 when the cup competition starts in Badalona. Cross our fingers.