Tuesday, December 5, 2023

WiZink Center: the ‘cursed’ court of Unicaja

He Unicaja visit this Sunday (12:30 pm) to Real Madrid at the WiZink Center. It is impossible to think that the compositor set has before them a golden opportunity to beat the whites and continue to hold that fourth place in their direct fight with Lenovo Tenerife for being seeded in the Endesa League play-off. It seems that the external conditions may be in favor of those in green and purple. However, the story is not.

The Los Guindos club accumulates the terrible number of 17 years without snatching the away victory from the Madrid team in a Regular Phase match of the Endesa League. Yes, they have beaten them at home in the playoffs for the national title or in the Euroleague, but not in the last 17 years during the 34 days that usually make up the ACB season.

To remember Unicaja’s last victory at the WiZink Center during the Endesa League Regular Phase, you have to pull, and a lot, from memory. A January 15, 2006With more than 10,000 people in what was formerly known as the Palacio de Vistalegre, the compositor group trained by Sergio Scariolo then swept Boza Maljkovic’s men (77-86). that day, George Garbajosa amazed the world with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for a PIR of 38.

Since then, all visits from Malaga in the League have turned into defeats. However, the situation is now very different. Unicaja itself gives off sensations that these years had not been enjoyed. Ibon Navarro commented at a press conference that sometimes it was important to lose a game “to keep our feet on the ground”, although it is convenient not to forget that the 11 consecutive victories that the team has accumulated at the moment are a good sign of the state of form with which he faces this final stretch.

Unicaja already beat Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinals. ACBPHOTO/Emilio Cobos

In the compositor dressing room they already know what it’s like to beat Madrid this season. They had to get rid of the capital team (82-93) to reach the Copa del Rey final and win the title. And they didn’t do it in any way, but they dominated and it was the people from Malaga who imposed their game for most of the game. Even in the first round of the Endesa League they were about to beat them (71-76). Only a basket from Sergio Llull in the last seconds of the match put an end to the hopes of the ‘green tide’.

It is no longer just what Unicaja has shown on the track, it is that Madrid itself has moved away this season from its overwhelming version. And they have at stake to reach first place in the ACB to have the home court factor in the final, but, inevitably, the head is in Wednesday’s game against Partizán, where a victory would take them to the Final Four of the Euroleague .

Physical state of Real Madrid

The big drop will be Gaby Deck. Medical tests have confirmed that he suffers from a medial collateral ligament tear of the left knee and it is very likely that he will miss the remainder of the season. So his presence on the track on Sunday against Unicaja is more than ruled out.

The Argentine is not the only name that the white medical staff has marked in red. Tavares It is the great concern within Chus Mateo’s team. The pivot has been suffering from knee discomfort for several weeks. Therefore, taking into account that they play again on Wednesday against Partizan, their rotation could be reduced, especially if Vincent Poirier returns, who did not play this week. In addition to the overload of minutes that players like Musa or Hezonja accumulate.

The opportunity seems unique. It will be the last game before the Final Four of the Basketball Champions League. So there is no greater goal to reach heaven than to arrive with a victory against Madrid.


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