Thursday, June 8, 2023

Ten keys for Unicaja to be BCL champion

Starting next Friday, Unicaja has the last effort to try to become champion of the Basketball Champions League 2022/2023. After an almost immaculate European season, from the qualifying phase to the quarterfinal play-off, now it’s time for the final fight for the title. To begin with, the semifinal on Friday at 8:30 p.m. against the German Telekom Bonn. In case of victory, the winner of the other “semi” will wait on Sunday, which will be played on the same Friday, from 5:30 p.m., by Hapoel Jerusalem and Lenovo Tenerife.

These are 10 keys that can make Unicaja champion of the Basketball Champions League 2022/2023:

1. Managing emotions

Unicaja is the host of this event and the players must know how to play with the pressure of doing it at home and against the “green tide”. After winning the Copa del Rey and having turned Carpena into little less than a fortress, the team has to know how to take advantage of that home court factor for which the club has fought so hard with FIBA ​​in recent weeks in which Jerusalem pressed to that the Final Four was on Israeli land.

2. Bench rotation

Ibon Navarro has a long squad at his command that he must take advantage of on a weekend with two games in 48 hours. Throughout the season, Unicaja has shown that one of its great assets is playing with 12 players each game. Economizing efforts will help Unicaja to be fresh when the moment of truth arrives in the semifinal and (hopefully) in the final.

3. “Carpena Factor”

Baskonia, Real Madrid and Barça, in the Endesa League; and Dinamo Sassari, in an inconsequential game of the European first phase, are the only four teams that have managed to come out “alive” from Martín Carpena this season. It is true that the atmosphere in this Final Four is not going to be the usual one because there will be many fans of the other three teams in the stands, but taking advantage of playing at “home” should be a differential factor to be champions on Sunday.

4. Running

Unicaja must try to be faithful to their game throughout the season. It is a team that when it runs is lethal. In 5v5 he also has unlimited resources, inside and out, but if he can play in the open he becomes almost intractable to any opponent. The objective in this Final Four must be to run as much as possible.

5. Winning dynamics

Unicaja played a triumphant weekend in Badalona last February during the Copa del Rey. That positive experience of knowing how to play life or death matches in a very short time should serve him in this Final Four to repeat the success of the last ko tournament

6. Balance

This 2022/2023 compositor squad has shown all season to have innumerable interior and exterior resources. That must be a definitive asset to be able to aspire to the continental scepter. It is very difficult to stop a team in which one day Perry “strikes” you, another day Brizuela, another day Will Thomas, another day Kalinoski, another day Carter…

7. No injuries

It is always a fundamental factor, but in a competition of two games in 3 days, it is key that you respect your physique. Especially since there is no room to look for alternatives. Unicaja has a long squad, but if all 12 play, better than if there are 11.

8. Defense-Rebound

Two fundamental aspects to win this Final Four will be to have a good defense and be intense in rebounding on both sides of the court. If Unicaja is well behind, their attack game is usually more fluid. If he rebounds, especially in defense, it will allow him to run and do his vertical basketball that is doing so much damage this season to all his rivals.

9. High pace

Unicaja have won many games this season in the final minutes by wearing down their rivals in the first three quarters. If Ibon Navarro’s team is capable of playing at a very high pace, Telekom Bonn (and whoever it is in the possible final) can hold out for 10, 20, 30, 35 minutes… but when it comes time for the It is true that fatigue should be the key for the victory to stay in Malaga.

10. Hunger

This Unicaja 22/23 shows every day that it takes to the field that it is an insatiable team. He always wants more. It doesn’t matter if you go 20 up or 3 down. Always play on the limit. The players have shown that they are hungry and are looking forward to this competition. They have already won the Copa del Rey and now they want to lift the European title on Sunday.


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