Electric, vibrating, high-voltage match the one displayed in the Martin Carpena for Unicaja and Barça with a hard-fought 81-86 victory for the Catalans who suffered more than expected due to the many losses (16 in total) but where Laprovittola put the team behind him again to get out of the quagmire to the one they were in the first half. With this victory they got rid of the thorn of the defeat against the team from Malaga in the Copa del Rey.
It was Ibon Navarro’s men who started the duel better following the pattern set by the coach. They soon managed to deactivate the leader of Barça, Nikola Mirotic. Thomas drew two fouls in the first five minutes and went straight to the bench. This conditioned the azulgranas in the first quarter where Abrines’ triple start and a forceful azulgrana defense was little less than a mirage. Unicaja reacted and the baskets Perry, Kravish y Perry they took Barça to go in tow.
Only the presence of Nico Laprovittola kept the team within controllable distances but a 5-0 run forced Jasikevicius to stop the match at 1’38 to end the first set (22-14). The quarter closed with 24-16.
Barça, from more to less in the second quarter
Identical start in the second quarter. Barça with the feeling of leaving more plugged in and with a 0-4 run, Navarro was forced into a timeout where the anger was monumental, Sima being the one who came out but stopped.
The reaction was immediate and Unicaja took advantage of the little success of Barça and above all the many Barca losses to increase the distance to a dangerous 36-26 with 3 minutes to go.
Jasikevicius called a time-out to try to order Barça’s game, very anarchic and no flow for several minutes. With Mirotic’s return to the track, the gap was reduced despite Barça’s nine losses in the first half. The break was reached with an encouraging 39-35 for Saras’ men.
A partial of 0-10 and to send in the party
Saras lectured his men in the locker room. We don’t know if shouting or opting for calm and conciliation, but the reality is that Barça came out much more focused in the third quarter and with Laprovittola leading the team than with a partial 0-10 output he made it 39-45 on the scoreboard and went from dominated to dominant.
Unicaja recovered with a Kendrick Perry Very inspired that he ‘mocked’ the Barça defense not once but twice in a row with two baskets worthy of the ‘highlights’ of the match.
Unicaja came close to only two points and got hooked on the game like a limpet preventing Barça from taking off finishing the third quarter with 57-61 on the scoreboard.
Triple festival on both sides
A lot of tension in the last quarter that started at the rhythm of triples: Tobey y Jokubaitis on the blaugrana side and Thomas, Ejim and Perry for Unicaja the artists of the outside shot and the score that was adjusted again with 68-71 with 5 minutes to go.
Martín Carpena squeezed the referees very nicely at all times, especially with an attacking foul whistled at I’m sorry that eliminated him: “Hands up, this is a robbery” was the response from the stands”. When the atmosphere was more tense, he appeared again Laprovittola and with a triple he silenced Martín Carpena. And the triple festival followed. Osetkowski had the answer with another three-pointer, but with his fifth foul he was also confined to the bench.
But Unicaja still hadn’t said the last word and with a triple from Perry they forced Jasikevicius to request time-out. He achieved the objective of keeping the distance thanks to a play that ended with a triple by Satoransky. He followed the festival of the outside game at Martín Carpena (75-81).
How could it be otherwise, Barça sentenced the duel with… another triple from a true specialist: Álex Abrines. A data. Unicaja managed only 1 of 9 baskets from two in this last quarter, although in its favor it must be said that it managed 5/5 triples.
The game continued, but the duel was already sentenced.