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The hard road in the Basketball Champions League

Unicaja should have played this Tuesday against Prometey in the last match of the round of 16 of the Basketball Champions League. The withdrawal of the Ukrainian team from the competition due to the war in their country led to the instance being shortened. The unforgivable failure of the defeat against the Oostende last week he left the Malaga team at the expense of what happened between the Belgian team and the Cluj in the last match of Group K to see in what position they would reach the quarterfinals, first or second. The difference, not trivial, was whether or not to have home court advantage in the series to the best of three games that will be held between 5-6 and, if the third is necessary, April 19-20, at the rate of a weekly meeting. And Unicaja goes as second to the next phase. In a game in which Cluj always dominated, from a devastating first quarter, with more than 20 lead points in the second, Oostende pressed (they needed to win by six points or more) but could not turn the game around although it was move to three points with four minutes to go. And the victory went to Romanian lands (74-85). Cluj, which has proven to be the best team despite Malaga’s victory in Transylvania, ends with 3-1, Unicaja with 2-2 and Oostende with 1-3. Last week’s defeat cost Ibon Navarro’s team first place. The withdrawal of Prometeywho had beaten Unicaja in a match played a few weeks before the war broke out in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, it has allowed the typesetter club to advance, it would have been more complicated with them in the running (they were 2-1 at that time).

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Everything implies that Unicaja already knows two of the three possible rivals. They cannot face Cluj because they came from the same group as in the previous phase. And it’s not good news because it’s the Lenovo Tenerife and Baxi Manresa, who have already secured first place in their respective groups (the people from Tenerife play a formal match this Wednesday). Both are completing a high-level season, especially the Catalans, with much better basketball than the people from Malaga throughout the entire campaign. The third first will come out of the trio formed by the LGerman udwigsburg, the French Dijon and the Israeli Hapoel Holon. The Spaniards or the first of the aforementioned three will be the rival from Malaga in the quarterfinals of the BCL, the tie prior to the Final Four de Bilbao. The draw for the rooms will be this Friday, March 25 at the Guggenheim of the Biscayan capital. there it will be Charles Heads, club ambassador, as typesetter representative. From May 6 to 8 are the semifinals and the final in the Bilbao Arena. LThe other defined seconds are the Tofas Bursa and Strasbourg.



Another derivative of the calendar is that Unicaja will have a diabolical easter of highly difficult matches, with four duels in eight days. It will begin on Palm Sunday (April 10) before the MoraBanc Andorrawill continue on Tuesday, April 12 in Malaga, second match, against the lucky opponent in the BCL, on Holy Thursday, two days later, the delayed match of the ACB against Barcelona In the pau Blaugrana and, finally, I meet the Lenovo Tenerife the Easter Sunday (April 17th). A trance from which the team can come out bruised until the end of the season or like a plane depending on the circumstances. It could continue with a fifth game, the hypothetical third game of the quarterfinal playoff Tuesday 19 or Wednesday 20, at home.

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This week of training is basic for Unicaja to improve when it comes to assimilating concepts with Ibon Navarro, also to improve physical tone before the weeks that will determine if the season can be fixed in some way, it stays in a year to forget or there is something more dramatic that nobody wants to name. The BCL is the shortest path to glory, but the mistake of Oostende it cost dearly He goes the hard way.

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