vVictory suffered for Ibon Navarro’s Unicaja (53-73). The coach from Vitoria premiered his winning locker in a match where all possible versions of the Malaga team appeared. Matt Mooney was key to knock down a Fuenlabrada that came from almost 20 points behind in the third quarter, but ended up deflated in the last act. Unicaja goes to its particular break with the bleeding of defeats of the Katsikaris era stopped. Fuenlabrada will have to continue fighting to get his permanence in ACB on track.
- 53 – Urbas Fuenlabrada (11+8+21+13): Samar (4), Milosavljevic (2), Meindl (23), Cheatham (7), Alexander (8) -starting five-, McCallum, Ristic (2), Novak (5), Eyenga (2) and Lopez.
- 73 – Unicaja Málaga (20+21+9+23): Díaz (13), Brizuela (5), Barreiro (8), Abromaitis (13), Kravic (9) -starting five-, Guerrero (6), Alonso ( 3), Mooney (16), Nzosa and Bouteille.
Unicaja started the game with great defensive seriousness. Ibon Navarro’s men started the game with a 2-9 run in which Abromaitis and Jonathan Barreiro pulled the typesetter car in attack. Alberto Díaz joined the party with a good triple and Unicaja’s income was increasing as the minutes passed. The defense was something else compared to previous days. Dejan Kravic was superlative in the paint and the Malacitanos left with a nine-point lead at the end of the first ten minutes of regulation (11-20).
The start of the second quarter was spectacular for Unicaja. Francis Alonsos and Alberto Díaz started very well from the triple line and Ibon Navarro’s men went on the scoreboard. Dejan Kravic in the inside game and Mooney together with Abromaitis in the outside did mischief without Fuenlabrada hitting the key to stop the typesetters who were shooting. Brizuela put the icing on the cake of a sensational quarter and the score remained at 19-41 for the Los Guindos team. Without a doubt, one of the best quarters of the course for the Carpena team. The internal superiority of Ibon Navarro’s team combined with the local losses (11) and their low success in attack to create the perfect storm.
The third quarter started with Fuenlabrada waking up. Samar scored the first three-pointer of the match for the Madrid team and Meindl started very inspired. Unicaja did not hit the key and the typesetter inspiration went down the toilet at the same speed with which the local team continued to close the gap with a very connected Samar in the outside game. The people of Malaga were disconnected and even the Los Guindos team committed a five-second foul in the baseline kick, proof of the imbalance suffered by the team. Leo Meindl continued hitting and the partial was already 15 points to two (35-43). The Fernando Martín was a boiler and Unicaja suffered a lot. Mooney, with two offensive actions, put an end to Madrid’s spectacular streak. If he were not for the American, the Costa del Sol would have sunk. Fuenlabrada left the deficit at 10 points right at the end. (40-50)
Mooney was Ibon Navarro’s lifeline. The American base was pulling the car at the most delicate moment of the game. The best defensive version of Unicaja appeared again in the last act. Brizuela added intangibles and Mooney points. In Fuenlabrada, Meindl’s magic was extinguished in attack and Josep Raventós’s men remained chasing the typesetter trail. Again blame for the losses. Once the bad experience of the third quarter was overcome, Unicaja gradually cooked its victory in one of the most complicated courts in the lower middle zone of the ACB. (53-73)