2018-19Regular SeasonRound 4
October 23, 2018 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALACIO DE DEPORTES JOSE MARIA MARTIN CARPENA

Roberts's OT heroics lift Unicaja past UNICS

In a battle of former 7DAYS EuroCup champions that went to overtime, Unicaja Malaga registered its third consecutive win in Group C by downing UNICS Kazan 82-80 at home on Tuesday. Both teams now have 3-1 records. Jaime Fernandez led the winners with 23 points, Brian Roberts added 14 while Giorgi Shermadini had 10 for Unicaja. Pierria Henry paced UNICS with 21 points, Trent Lockett scored 18, Maurice Ndour 14 and Jamar Smith 10.

Lockett shined early, leading a 0-10 opening run that Ndour capped with a fast break slam. Brian Roberts and Fernandez rescued Unicaja and a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Dragan Milosavljevic tied the game at 16-16 after 10 minutes. Free throws by Fernandez gave Unicaja its first lead, 21-19, early in the second quarter. Ndour and Henry stepped up for UNICS and a jumper by Lockett put the guests back in charge, 28-30. Adam Waczynski followed a three-pointer with free throws and Carlos Suarez also struck from downtown for a 36-33 Unicaja edge at halftime. Ndour took over after the break, helping UNICS regain the lead at 41-42. Henry capped a 0-7 run with a floater and a jumper by Smith gave the visitors a 48-52 margin after 30 minutes. Lockett followed a corner triple with a dunk, causing Unicaja to call timeout at 50-57. Waczynski and an outstanding Fernandez tried to change things for the hosts, but a free throw by Kostas Kaimakoglou made it a 3-point game with over two minutes left in regulation. Henry split free throws and sank a critical floater for a 68-70 UNICS lead. Mathias Lessort drew a foul with 8.3 seconds left and sank both attempts to send the game to overtime, as Henry missed around the basket at the buzzer. Roberts followed a triple with a jumper and struck again from downtown for an 80-75 Unicaja edge. UNICS got a bit closer, 82-79, and Henry drew a foul with 6.8 seconds left. He missed his second attempt and grabbed the offensive rebound, but Melvin Ejim missed from beyond the arc at the buzzer.

Pivotal performer

Fernandez had a EuroCup career-best scoring night with 23 points - his previous record was 19, playing for MoraBanc Andorra against Fiat Turin last season – and tied his best mark in assists with 7. He also drew 10 fouls for a performance index rating of 27.

Game-changing moment

UNICS got its last lead early in overtime, 72-73. Roberts hit a three-pointer, added a jumper and soon buried another shot from beyond the arc to give Unicaja an 80-75 margin with 1:33 remaining. Even though the game literally came down to the last shot, Roberts shined for Unicaja to keep its chances alive in crunch time.

Stellar stat

Unicaja hit just 10 of 33 two-point shots - 30.3%, its worst percentage ever in the EuroCup, by far (the previous low was 40.6% 2FG against Valencia Basket), but managed to survive due to its three-point accuracy, hitting 12 of 26 shots from downtown (46.1%) to eventually win the game.

Did you notice?

UNICS had a better index rating in this game, 81-83, in a losing effort. UNICS pulled down 20 offensive rebounds for the second time this season – it already did so in its road win against Mornar Bar. No other team has pulled down 20 offensive boards in a EuroCup game this season; Cedevita Zagreb had 19 against Arla Gdynia.

Next game:

Both teams return to action on Wednesday, October 31. UNICS hosts Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt at 18:00 CET and Unicaja visits Fiat Turin at 20:30 CET.

Jaime Fernandez celebrates - Unicaja Malaga (photo Unicaja - Mariano Pozo) - EC18
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: MANTYLA, PETRI; BALAK, AMIT; RACYS, SAULIUS
Attendance: 5924
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Unicaja Malaga1620122212
UNICS Kazan1617191810
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Unicaja Malaga1636487082
UNICS Kazan1633527080
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 DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 FERNANDEZ, JAIME 31:27 23 2/6 2/4 13/17 2 1 3 7 1 4   1 2 10 27
10 SALIN, SASU 25:51 2 1/2 0/3     4 4           1 1 2
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 4:14           1 1               1
12 MILOSAVLJEVIC, DRAGAN 26:19 8 0/3 2/3 2/4 2 2 4   1 2   1 4 3 3
16 SANCHEZ, PABLO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 19:16 10 5/8     3 3 6 2   1     1 1 14
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 28:40 8 0/2 2/5 2/2   2 2 1 1 2     3 1 3
22 ROBERTS, BRIAN 18:29 14 1/3 4/5             1     4   6
26 LESSORT, MATHIAS 25:42 7 0/4   7/12 1 5 6 1 1 2 2 1 4 8 9
33 WILTJER, KYLE 22:44 1 0/3 0/3 1/2 1 5 6 1 1 1   1 2 1 -1
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 22:18 9 1/2 2/3 1/2 4   4   1 2     1 2 10
Team           3 4 7               7
Totals 225:00 82 10/33 12/26 26/39 16 27 43 12 6 15 2 4 22 27 81
        30.3% 46.2% 66.7%
Head coach: CASIMIRO, LUIS
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
UNICS Kazan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 SERGEEV, PAVEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2 MORGAN, RAYMAR 18:39 6 3/8     4 1 5 2   2   2 5   -1
3 EJIM, MELVIN 19:22 1 0/4 0/3 1/2 1 1 2   1       4 1 -7
4 LOCKETT, TRENT 32:54 18 6/7 1/2 3/4 2 2 4   2 1     2 3 21
5 NDOUR, MAURICE 29:19 14 5/7   4/5 1 5 6 1 1 1 3   5 4 20
6 MCCOLLUM, ERRICK 13:46 3 0/3 0/2 3/4 1 1 2 2 1       3 4 3
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 10:34 4 2/3 0/1   1 1 2     3         1
12 KLIMENKO, ARTEM 7:52 2 1/1     1 1 2     1 1   1 1 4
15 SMITH, JAMAR 36:09 10 3/6 1/6 1/1 1 2 3 4   1     2 1 7
42 KOLESNIKOV, EVGENY 7:40     0/3   5 1 6               3
49 HENRY, PIERRIA 34:12 21 6/14 1/2 6/10 1 6 7 4 4 2     2 7 26
88 KAIMAKOGLOU, KOSTAS 14:33 1 0/2   1/2 1 4 5 2         3 1 3
Team           1 3 4     1         3
Totals 225:00 80 26/55 3/19 19/28 20 28 48 15 9 12 4 2 27 22 83
        47.3% 15.8% 67.9%
Head coach: PRIFTIS, DIMITRIS

Head Coaches

CASIMIRO, LUIS
Unicaja Malaga
"It was a tremendous game which we won. It was a tough game with a lot of details, some went in our favor, some didn't. We were able to win it due to our great mentality in all the minutes, even in overtime. They committed all the fouls they could to stop us from taking two-point shots. That forced us to take a low number of two-point shots. They are a very physical team, especially in the paint, and are able to play tough and intimidate. It was hard for us to get the ball in the paint. On the other hand, we did really well from the three-point line and that allowed us to win the game. If you don't dominate the boards, because you play against a team that gets 16 offensive rebounds on average, and got 20 tonight, and then you are not efficient in two-point shots, because you are taken to the free throw line a lot, and you still win, that means we played an amazing game in other aspects of the game such as defense, finding different ways to score and especially, when they took the lead, instead of giving up, hitting shots from the perimeter."
PRIFTIS, DIMITRIS
UNICS Kazan
"As you all watched, it was a tough game that went to overtime. It was a very stressful game for both teams. Congratulations to Unicaja for the win. As long as we had our big in the games, I am talking our two main bigs, Morgan and Ndour, we were competitive, but very early in the second half, they have been charged with fouls so we lost them. We missed them also in overtime. We had a serious problem with our defensive rebounds in the second half. Of course, we took 20 offensive rebounds and that helped us in the second half. We had very bad three-point shooting percentages and finally we went down to details, and only one of the two teams would have those details that would win the game. Jamar [Smith] is a special player for me. I trust him and I am happy with him. I love him basically as a person and then as a player. Unicaja is a strong team with a wide roster and experienced players."

Players

ROBERTS, BRIAN
Unicaja Malaga
"That game felt like it was May or June! It was like a playoffs type of intensity in the game. When we were down, we made plays to keep us in the game. We didn't do well in the first three quarters, but found a way to get the win. It was a big-time team win."
LESSORT, MATHIAS
Unicaja Malaga
(About the free throws that sent the game to overtime) "On the first one, I had the shooters' touch and in the second one, I just got heart. I am cold-blooded! These were two important free throws for the team. It is important for me to show to my teammates that they can count on me in tight games like this."
FERNANDEZ, JAIME
Unicaja Malaga
"I think it was a tough game, with some ups and downs, but finally, we got the win with a great effort from all the team. I am happy for this win. It is important for us to keep fighting in this tough EuroCup, so this is a good win for us."
LOCKETT, TRENT
UNICS Kazan
"There are a lot of things we could have done better. They hurt us on offense and we had some miscommunication in pick-and-rolls. It’s a tough loss for us, but we can turn it into a learning experience and it can be good for us in the long run."
HENRY, PIERRIA
UNICS Kazan
"It was a hard game. We had a lot of chances to win the game, opportunity to control the lead, use our advantage. But we gave credit to Malaga. We played hard, never gave up. It just shows the level of competition we faced. We should put it behind us, learn and move to the next game."