Unicaja visits Real Madrid this Sunday (12:30 p.m.) at the WiZink Center. A league exit that, given the precedents, can be considered the most elusive of the entire season for a Unicaja that has been losing for 17 consecutive years every time it visits Real Madrid in the league’s Regular Phase. Yes, they have beaten them at home in the play off for the title and in the Euroleague, but nothing at all in the first phase of the ACB season.
It is curious that in these almost two decades, Unicaja has won, and more than once, at the Palau Blaugrana of Barça, at the Buesa Arena of Baskonia or at La Fonteta of Valencia Basket, to give three examples, but never in the whites track.
January 2006, last win in the Regular Phase on the Real Madrid court
The truth is that you have to remember to find Unicaja’s last league victory in the merengue lair. In fact, it wasn’t even at the WiZink Center. On January 15, 2006, with more than 10,000 people in the stands of the Vistalegre bullring, repurposed at that time as a basketball court, the cajista team then coached by Sergio Scariolo devastated Bozidar Maljkovic’s Madrid (77-86 ).
That day, Jorge Garbajosa gave a spectacular basketball lesson to score 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, for a PIR of 38. He was seconded in scoring by Marcus Brown, with 18 points, and the captain, Berni Rodríguez, with 13.
Unicaja’s triumphant streak in danger
Unicaja will land this coming Sunday at the WiZink in full winning streak, after winning 8 games in a row, between the League and Basketball Champions League. But that is not synonymous with success either. Last season, without going any further, Unicaja arrived in Madrid also on a high, with 11 consecutive victories, against a Real Madrid that reserved more than half the squad in that match because the ticket to the Final was played only a few days later Four of the Euroleague, against Partizan. Everything seemed to be aimed at ending the curse… but it wasn’t the day either, 102-90, without Chacho Rodríguez, without Rudy, without Hezonja, without Tavares…
The challenge that the Greens have on Sunday is first class. In the absence of the two interweekly continental matches that Real Madrid has this Tuesday (Valencia Basket) and Thursday (Monaco), Chus Mateo’s team is undefeated in all competitions. Won the Endesa Super Cup (the final was against Unicaja), He is 9 out of 9 in the League and 6 out of 6 in the Euroleague. It is clear that it will be difficult…, but not impossible.