Sunday, December 10, 2023

Unicaja’s rivals keep the pulse in the upper zone

He Unicaja will continue as fourth classified one more week. It seems that habit has made it normal, but we must not forget that this team started the Endesa League with 1-3 and, thanks to the five consecutive victories, can take on any rival. Be careful, important, when the first half of the fight to play in the Copa del Rey has already been overcomewhere the composers, already classified as hosts, look to the seeding positions.

In fact, Ibon Navarro’s men are no longer the leader of the platoon, but are direct competitors to reach second position. Real Madrid is a little further away (9-0). However, Barça (7-2) and Valencia Basket (7-2) are there. UCAM Murcia is the only pursuer that has managed to keep up with the Malaga team in the table. While Girona, BAXI Manresa and Gran Canaria – the first eight classified – have remained with 5-4.

For many minutes the fans dreamed of something more and with reason. There were two key games this Sunday: the first was the Valencia Basket-Casademont Zaragoza. The hands won during the first 25 minutes of the match at La Fonteta. Mumbrú’s team needed a victory to maintain that third place and they achieved it (76-69) thanks to the appearance of players like López-Arostegui or Puerto.

Valencia came back against Zaragoza to remain third. ACBPHOTO

A little less tight was the Barça-Lenovo Tenerife, the second of the matches that could change the scoreboard classification. The Canaries were only 2 points below Roger Grimau’s team. The problem is that they were faced with a hellish 61% success rate in triples (16/26) compared to the 37% they finished with. So the 94-83 at the Palau keeps the team from Malaga in fourth place.

Real Madrid, still undefeated

The one who did not give in again was the Real Madrid, the next cajista rival in ACB, although he had to sweat until the last second to score his ninth victory in the Endesa League. Bilbao Basket tightened its grip so much that The whites came out in the last 16 seconds with only 81-83 in favor. However, four free throws finally tipped the victory to Chus Mateo’s team.

Facundo Campazzo, against Bilbao Basket. ACBPHOTO

Will Unicaja be the first rival to surpass the whites this season? We will have to see what happens this week with the Euroleague doubleheader, but what is clear is that it will be one of the great challenges of the course to visit the WiZink Center next Sunday.


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