2016-17FinalsRound 2
March 31, 2017 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 MARTIN CARPENA

Smith, Omic send 7DAYS EuroCup Finals to climactic Game 3

The first-ever best-of-three series in the 7DAYS EuroCup Finals is going to the limit! Unicaja Malaga lived to fight another day by downing Valencia Basket 79-71 in front of a sellout crowd of over 10,500 fans at Martin Carpena on Friday. The series is tied at 1-1 after both teams exchanged home wins but Valencia is set to host make-or-break Game 3 at Fuente de San Luis next Wednesday. Unicaja broke a seven-game losing streak against Valencia – three of them in this season’s EuroCup – and could become the first newcomer to win the competition since Hapoel Jerusalem lifted the trophy in 2004. Valencia has another chance to win a fourth EuroCup title after winning the competition in 2003, 2010 and 2014. Jamar Smith led the winners with 20 points on 5-of-9 three-point shooting. Alen Omic added 12 and 10 rebounds for Unicaja. Guillem Vives led Valencia with 14 points. Sam Van Rossom and Bojan Dubljevic each added 11 for the guests. Unicaja pulled down 10 offensive rebounds and downed 7-of-16 three-point shots, including one by Jeff Brooks that gave the hosts a 43-34 lead at the break. Unicaja ended up outrebounding Valencia by 40-24, arguably the biggest key to the outcome.

Adam Waczynski and Nemanja Nedovic got Unicaja going with back-to-back three-pointers. Omic added a layup and Brooks scored down low for a 10-3 lead. Van Rossom and Waczynski exchanged triples but Vives followed a layup with a shot from downtown to keep Valencia within 15-11. Kyle Fogg took over with a wild four-point play and Viny Okouo added a layup that made it a double-digit game, 21-11. Romain Sato joined the three-point shootout and a put-back layup by Will Thomas kept Valencia within 21-16 after 10 minutes. Pierre Oriola took over with a tip-in but Smith followed a jumper with a three-pointer that boosted Unicaja's lead to 26-19. Van Rossom and Sato insisted from beyond the arc and Dubljevic found his first points to get Valencia within 31-27. Brooks took control with an off-balance three-point play and Omic scored down low to give Unicaja a 36-29 lead. Vives hit a three-pointer and Luke Sikma added a put-back basket but Alberto Diaz and Nedovic rescued Unicaja before a buzzer-beating triple by Brooks fixed the halftime score at 43-34. Dubljevic and Van Rossom fueled a 0-6 Valencia run which Fernando San Emeterio capped with a put-back layup for a 43-40 Valencia deficit. Diaz scored off a midcourt steal and Omic followed a jump hook with a layup in a 12-0 run that Smith capped with a triple that broke the game open, 55-40. Dubljevic tried to change things with a three-pointer that Smith immediately matched at the other end. A floater by Smith made it a 16-point gane, 62-46, but Rafa Martinez and Sato brought Valencia a bit closer, 64-51, after 30 minutes. Unicaja kept getting defensive stops all over the place but shots did not fall in. Meanwhile, a three-pointer by Martinez gave Valencia hope, 68-58, with more than 6 minutes left. Carlos Suarez made free throws and Dani Diez hit a jumper as Unicaja boosted its margin to 75-61 and never looked back.

Unicaja Malaga celebrates - EC16
Friday, March 31, 2017
Attendance: 10367
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga21222115
Valencia Basket16181720
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga21436479
Valencia Basket16345171
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 OKOUO, VINY 7:25 4 2/3     1 1 2           1 1 5
8 FOGG, KYLE 14:20 6 1/1 1/3 1/1 1 2 3 2 1 2     2 1 7
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 30:41 7 2/4 1/3     4 4 5 2 1     2   11
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 16:24 4 2/2 0/1     1 1     2     3 1  
15 SMITH, JAMAR 22:41 20 2/2 5/9 1/2 2 2 4 4   1     1 3 24
16 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA 14:55 5 1/5 1/3     2 2 4   2     1   2
20 LAFAYETTE, OLIVER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 21:58 6   2/4     3 3 1   1     2 2 7
23 BROOKS, JEFF 23:05 9 2/6 1/3 2/3 3 1 4     1     3 2 4
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 21:00 6 0/1 0/1 6/7 1 2 3 3   2 1   2 6 12
92 OMIC, ALEN 27:31 12 6/8     4 6 10     1     4 2 17
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 79 18/32 11/27 10/13 14 26 40 19 3 13 1 0 21 18 93
        56.3% 40.7% 76.9%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, WILL 20:01 2 1/2 0/1   1 2 3           2 2 3
8 DIOT, ANTOINE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 VAN ROSSOM, SAM 21:56 11 1/2 3/6     2 2 5           1 15
10 SATO, ROMAIN 16:56 9 0/2 3/4     1 1 1 2     1 2 3 10
14 DUBLJEVIC, BOJAN 28:36 11 3/5 1/3 2/2 1 4 5 1 1 1     2 1 12
16 VIVES, GUILLEM 20:44 14 1/1 4/8   1 1 2 2         2   12
17 MARTINEZ, RAFA 18:14 8 1/2 1/2 3/4   2 2 4   2     2 5 12
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 11:24 2     2/4         1       4 2 -1
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 23:04 9 1/4 1/6 4/6 1 1 2     3     1 4 1
30 SASTRE, JOAN 19:06 3 1/2 0/2 1/1 1   1 3 1       1 2 6
42 FERRANDO, LUIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
43 SIKMA, LUKE 19:59 2 1/2 0/1   1 2 3 2 1       2 1 5
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 71 10/22 13/33 12/17 8 16 24 18 6 6 0 1 18 21 78
        45.5% 39.4% 70.6%

Head Coaches

Unicaja Malaga
"First of all, I want to congratulate our fans. We had a great atmosphere, the one a final like this deserves. It was very important for us that our fans came early, so congratulations to them .This is what Malaga must look like, always. We are proud to be able to overcome the previous obstacle before the grand final. We know that we just tied the series, which is very important, but there is nothing to celebrate, no champagne bottles to open. Still, we are happy to be here. I believe that my team played to win from the very beginning and led the game all the way through. Valencia got close at some point, especially in the third quarter, but we were competitive and earned the right to play Game 3. We will go to Valencia to give our all, knowing that they will have the home-court advantage. We won't back down and already won some series without the home-court advantage. We were focused and stayed calm in the game. Malaga showed it can compete against anyone when it plays team basketball, sharing the ball. I am proud of my team, that's it. What we want during a season is to grow as a team. We were showing we were getting closer to beating Valencia than we were in December. I didn't want to disappoint our 11,000 fans and those who could not attend the game, all the people who believe in us. We won a battle, lost the first one, and now we have to get ready for the final battle."
Valencia Basket
"It was tough for us to dominate the game under the boards, which was a very important factor in this game, especially in the first half. It was bad news for us, because we were not able to play fast, the way we usually do. I am happy with my team's effort. We had everything against us in the second half but had very good spirit, fighting until the end. That is a positive aspect. We have another opportunity on Wednesday and I hope that we can make the most out of it. This is what it needs to be in our minds; recover from this game and prepare the one on Wednesday. Pressure is on both teams; it is a do-or-die game. Both teams needed to win two games to lift the trophy, and now both of us need just one win. Game 3 is in Valencia and we earned the right to play it there. That doesn't guarantee a win, but of course, we prefer to play at home. The last winner always has a better feeling going into the next game, but there is time to recover and to be able to give everything on Wednesday. I am sure it will be a very tough game."


Unicaja Malaga
"We are under a lot of pressure, but I think we are ready. We are used to playing in such strong atmospheres and I am sure we will give our best again in Game 3. It is very important to have a few days to prepare the game. You cannot change a lot of things and details will be decisive. It is a final and we have to give our best. I am very happy; we finally beat Valencia after five consecutive losses are now one win away from lifting the trophy."
Unicaja Malaga
"This is a very important win for us. We will now take a day off, forget about this and prepare everything again to go back to Valencia and play like we did today. We played hard and got this great win. This is the first final in my career and I will be very happy if I win it. I will never forget this. Our team is very good, I like everything here. Malaga is a good city and the club has great people, great staff. When everything is good, you enjoy playing basketball."
Unicaja Malaga
"Our defense and intensity were better than in Game 1 and that was the biggest key to win. After five losses against Valencia, we wanted to win really bad, and I think everybody saw that on the court. We are now definitely going there to win the trophy. We will never give up! We took a first step and need another one to make our dream come true. I think we can do it, we just played two really tight games in Valencia. The pressure is on them, we have nothing to lose. We have to display our basketball and try to win."
Unicaja Malaga
"Our crowd played a huge part in this win. We knew when we came home we would have a chance, and our crowd gave us great energy tonight, so we definitely have to thank them. I just played with confidence. The last game I didn't shoot well. I just tried to come out and be confident today, and my teammates got me good looks. Man, Game 3 is the dream. When you go to the gym by yourself as a kid, you think of stuff like this. We'll just try to get to the fourth quarter and have a chance to win."
Valencia Basket
"They dominated the boards and that did not allow us to run and play at our rhythm. We fought hard and in the end, I think we had some good moments under the boards, but it was not enough. We have to carry on and try to win on Wednesday. Game 3 will be a huge one, a do-or-die showdown for a trophy. Both teams will play with great intensity and aggressiveness. I have no doubt that we will have a sellout crowd helping us. They will be our sixth man."
Valencia Basket
"They had a lot of second-chance options and that allowed them to play with confidence. They were able to score easier than in Game 1. That was the biggest key to the game. We didn't stop fighting - we kept playing and got closer but their lead was too big. The team kept fighting until the end and that is positive. Nobody said it was going to be easy but we have a last chance at home, a chance we earned during the season."
Valencia Basket
"They played with a lot of intensity and got too many offensive rebounds. If we are not able to rebound well in our own rim, we cannot run. We are the kind of team that makes the most of that – transition game, running the floor with high rhythm. When we cannot do that, we are a very different team. I am sure our fans will help us a lot in Game 3 and we learned a lesson; we have to play with great intensity for all 40 minutes. We did better in the second half, but it was too late, the damage was done. We now have to get ready for Wednesday."