As if life had not changed. As if Ibon Navarro had recovered the 14 players on the squad to full physical fitness. As if this team had been complete from the first day of preseason. There are things that are worth keeping intact and one of them is this Unicaja who has once again exhibited an impressive competitive gene to start the Endesa League with a great victory against Lenovo Tenerife (98-75)one of the direct rivals.
It is simply spectacular what this Unicaja has become. There is a lot left in this long-distance race, we have only experienced the first step of the 34 that remain ahead, but it is undeniable that this team lifts the most apathetic from the seat and falls in love with the most distrustful.
Now, a special paragraph deserves Will Thomas. Actually, chronicle, page or section of the newspaper. Whatever he wants. There is nothing new left to say to the one from Baltimore. He played as ‘5’ alongside Osetkowski, he made Tim Abromaitis dizzy as ‘4’, he scored in all colors… He received the first ovation of the season and everything indicates that, like the victories, there will be many that are yet to arrive. But nothing changed. Kendrick Perry, Melvin Ejim… life goes on just as we left it in June.
However, the big news for Unicaja was the return of Yankuba Sima. The center returned to the field after an untimely calf injury that kept him out all preseason. It was essential to have him to face the start of the campaign with another point of energy. And how it was noticed! How it was noticed! He deserves to rest and Ibon Navarro thanked him well when he returned to the bench at the end. It’s another world to have someone like him in the area.
As much as being in the ‘Carpena factor’ again. 9,022 people attended the debut of their team, they pushed when the game needed it most, when Ibon Navarro asked them to and they were able to close, already in September, the first big night of the season. Surely, the same feeling that he will live with Kameron Taylor until he returns to the Palace next Saturday to play against Valencia Basket. A fairytale…
The beginning of the game had little preseason and a lot of triple contest. 11-8 at minute 3.50 to make it clear that the game was going to be a roadrunner. From that great success, Unicaja found new offensive variants, but not a wall to stop them. Risticwho advanced his own (15-16). Seven consecutive points from the Serbian defined the path to follow for the Canaries against a Unicaja with the most closed ring (24-26).
It was impossible to keep up with this infernal scoring pace, but no one was afraid to take the game to high scores. He pressed the Tenerife in an attempt to gain considerable distance. Jaime Fernández took control, but the Carpenafired by his disagreement in making referee decisions, He carried his team around 43-38 -the biggest advantage so far-. In the end, 45-40 to get to rest.
Unicaja’s definitive blow
This match was missing a point from Carpena, one more step to leave Vidorreta’s team on the shore. The technical composer asked for it, putting pressure on the audience. In fact, he had a first impact more than hopeful with 53-44. However, this Lenovo never lets you breathe. Would the final blow come? It wasn’t for not trying because The 27th minute arrived with 63-54. That step that Ibon Navarro demanded so much and that was demonstrated with the 71-60.
From there, 73-62, 75-64… y 80-64. The key man was Kameron Taylor. After scoring his first points in Carpena in an official match, he got rid of all the nerves, the pressure and began to demonstrate the thousands of reasons why he is here. He dealt him the final blow, but The last quarter of Alberto, Carter, Will Thomas and Osetkowski, in addition to the ‘6’, was scandalous. As much or more as the final result ended up being: 98-75.
This has only begun, but how great… This has been a very good first stone. Sima is back, the whole team is at a more than magical point and Casademont Zaragoza and Valencia Basket are waiting for next week. For now, enjoy the first of many.
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