There was no hangover. On the contrary. He Unicaja exercised this Saturday as Cup champion on his return to the Endesa League to win 94-70 over Basquet Girona on a day that remains for the history of the Los Guindos club. And it is that the Palace and the “green tide” lived an unforgettable afternoon celebrating in style the cupbearer title achieved in Badalona two weeks ago. Difficult to forget everything lived this first Saturday of March in the Palace, sure, for the 10,602 privileged people who saw everything live.
There were certain doubts to see how the team digested the cupbearer frenzy. It was unknown if so many praises choked the players on their return to “work.” But this team has a “I don’t know what, I don’t know”, which makes it special. And Unicaja, from the first minute, made it clear that it was not for nonsense. He commanded from the initial 3-2 until the final honk without ever letting Girona believe in a hypothetical surprise.
It was another choral triumph. The truth is that this block is amazing. The best version of Alberto was not necessary, nor was there a big day for MVP Carter, nor were there triples from Kalinoski this time, nor 4-meter baskets from Kravish… They were not necessary. Everyone had their moment of glory, some more and others less, including Yankuba Sima, who came back very active after the injury and with very good numbers.
Basketball Girona tried, resistedIt is a team that plays basketball well, without complicating, doing what they know and with All Star like Gasol, who came to this event with just a little bit of gasoline after his injury, and it showed. We must admit that they held on until in the last quarter they couldn’t take it anymore and they let themselves go.
The party only had one color. The green and purple of a serious, hard-working and supportive Unicaja. The prelegomena party did not mislead the greens. Unicaja, to the tran-tran, started commanding on the scoreboard, with a good defense and with clear ideas in attack. Ibon Navarro’s men, with Brizuela in great tune, had no problem reaching the 10th minute ahead on the scoreboard, 22-16.
Unicaja pushed back as the minutes passed. He put rhythm and intensity with his continuous rotations and the team, always fresh, was a rocket, 28-17, at 7:35 from the break. Good minutes and party in the stands. The subsequent exchange of baskets in the following minutes did not change the script too much a duel that reached the break, yes, with a somewhat tighter 41-35.
The team wanted to run around the block in the third quarter. Perry put fifth gear and Osetkowski was a good finisher to raise the lead above 10. Aíto stopped the game at 58-45, with 4.23 remaining in the third quarter. But Unicaja was in “Cup mode”. The greens went 19, 68-49 to begin to sentence a game that with the last 10 minutes to go was 72-53.
With the rival already with the white flag raised, Unicaja continued to increase its income. Navarro brought in Mario Saint-Supéry so that the party was already total. El Carpena, shouting ‘champions, champions’, enjoyed a final game that left the lead at +24, 94-70.
After too many days without basketball, now a marathon begins in which there will be little time to rest. On Tuesday, again at the Carpena, a key European match against Galatasaray. The future of Europe depends on not failing in another appointment that will be key.