2018-19Regular SeasonRound 6
November 07, 2018 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALACIO DE DEPORTES JOSE MARIA MARTIN CARPENA

Unicaja uses big men to blast past Rytas

Unicaja Malaga blasted past Rytas Vlinius with a 95-76 victory to improve to 5-1 at the top of Group D. Rytas, which was ahead by double figures in the second quarter, drops to 3-3. The third quarter proved decisive with Unicaja enjoying the better of a 28-7 partial score, and the visiting team couldn’t respond. The big men did much of the damage, with the unstoppable Giorgi Shermadini scoring 23 points while Mathias Lessort added 18 and Kyle Wiltjer scored 12. Rytas was led by 15 points from DJ Seeley, while Eimantas Bendzius scored 11 and Mindaugas Girdziunas added 10.

Unicaja raced into an early 5-0 lead, but a 2-13 run featuring two three-pointers from Seeley sent Rytas ahead. Girdziunas hit his second triple and then Dominique Sutton also struck from deep to keep the visitors in front, despite a couple of dunks from Lessort. But Unicaja kept pushing and Lessort scored again to tie the game at 21-21 after the first quarter. Rytas surged clear again as Seeley sank his third triple, and a 0-10 spurt containing a wild three-pointer by Bendzius made it a 12-point game. Shermadini scored twice and Wiltjer struck from deep twice as the home team responded with its own 8-0 run, and it was 43-48 at half-time. Unicaja started the second half with triples from Sasu Salin and Jaime Fernandez to go ahead, and Lessort scored two highlight reel dunks on a 13-0 run for a 56-48 lead. A triple from Fernandez gave Unicaja a double-digit lead, which soon grew with another Shermadini score. The fourth quarter saw the home team keep pulling away, with a three-pointer from Brian Roberts extending the lead to 86-59, and a huge alley-oop by Lessort was the highlight of the latter stages.

Unicaja sets assists record

Unicaja’s team-based approach was reflected in a total of 31 assists – a new team record in EuroCup and the joint fifth-highest in competition history. Jaime Fernandez led the way with 8 assists, but six other players provided at least three each.

Young gun Sanchez makes debut

With such a strong lead under his belt, Unicaja coach Luis Casimiro was able to finish the game by giving some playing time to debutant Pablo Sanchez. At the age of just 16 years and 20 days, he became the third-youngest player in EuroCup history, behind only Stefan Petkovic and Linos Chrysikopoulos.

Defense sets the tone

A big change in the game was the added intensity to Unicaja’s defense, which allowed just 7 points in the third quarter after being burned for 48 in the opening half. One stat to emphasise the turnaround was that Rytas made 6 of its first 9 three-pointers, but only went 4-of-13 from beyond the arc the rest of the way.

Next round

Unicaja will take its 5-1 record to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt, and Rytas returns to Vilnius to welcome high-flying UNICS Kazan.

Giorgi Shermadini - Unicaja Malaga (photo Unicaja) - EC18
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: BELOSEVIC, ILIJA; KOWALSKI, MARCIN; AMBROSOV, MYKOLA
Attendance: 3343
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga21222824
Rytas Vilnius2127721
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga21437195
Rytas Vilnius21485576
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 24:47 8 1/3 2/6     4 4 8 1 2   1 2 2 12
10 SALIN, SASU 23:24 6   2/5 0/1 1 2 3 4         1 3 11
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 5:59   0/1               1         -2
12 MILOSAVLJEVIC, DRAGAN 23:57 8 1/3 1/2 3/4 1 3 4 4 1       2 2 13
16 SANCHEZ, PABLO 2:12   0/1 0/1             1         -3
17 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 21:03 23 9/10   5/5   5 5 1 1 2 1   2 3 29
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 24:28 8 2/2 1/1 1/2 1 2 3 3 1 1     2 3 14
22 ROBERTS, BRIAN 15:13 7 1/2 1/2 2/2   1 1 3         3 1 7
26 LESSORT, MATHIAS 18:57 18 8/8   2/3 2 1 3 1   1 1   4 4 21
33 WILTJER, KYLE 18:41 12 1/1 3/6 1/2 1   1 3   1     1 1 11
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 21:19 5 1/3 0/3 3/4 1 3 4 4 2         3 12
Team           2 1 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 95 24/34 10/26 17/23 9 22 31 31 6 10 2 1 17 22 127
        70.6% 38.5% 73.9%
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
Rytas Vilnius
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 SIRVYDIS, DEIVIDAS 17:45 5 1/2 1/2   1 1 2     1   1 2   1
2 SUTTON, DOMINIQUE 25:35 8 2/6 1/2 1/1 1 1 2 1 3 2     2 3 8
9 PILAUSKAS, AISTIS 16:45 5 2/3 0/2 1/2 1 2 3 3   3       2 6
11 SEELEY, DENNIS 31:48 15 3/6 3/6     3 3 4 1 1     2 5 19
12 GIGA, NORBERTAS 2:42     0/1   1 1 2   1           2
14 ECHODAS, MARTYNAS 12:25 6 2/4   2/2 1 3 4     1 1   2 2 8
18 GIRDZIUNAS, MINDAUGAS 26:46 10 2/5 2/4     1 1 2 1 2     3 1 5
22 BENDZIUS, EIMANTAS 19:01 11 1/2 2/4 3/3 1 2 3   1       3 1 10
23 BLAZEVIC, MAREK 12:36 6 3/6     1 3 4         1 2   4
25 KAIRYS, EVALDAS 14:59 5 2/3   1/2       1   2     5 2 -1
51 BUTKEVICIUS, ARNAS 19:38 5 1/2 1/1   1 1 2 1   1     1   5
Team           1 3 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 76 19/39 10/22 8/10 9 21 30 12 7 14 1 2 22 16 70
        48.7% 45.5% 80%
Head coach: ADOMAITIS, DAINIUS

Head Coaches

CASIMIRO, LUIS
Unicaja Malaga

"The first half was very equal, they were very accurate from three-point range and they also punished us inside. In the second half we were much better defensively, preventing them from getting the ball to key players, and extraordinary defense in the third quarter meant we only allowed 7 points. That put us in a position to win the game."

“Defense was the key in the second half. We played strong one on one defense, we rebounded, and that broke the game.”

ADOMAITIS, DAINIUS
Rytas Vilnius
"Congratulations to Malaga, they deserved this win. Our energy went down a lot in the third quarter and we made mistakes, getting back to bad habits. These defensive mistakes gave them easy baskets and our offensive bad decisions gave them fastbreak points."

Players

SHERMADINI, GIORGI
Unicaja Malaga
“It was a great game for us. We knew how difficult it would be because they play great basketball. They are a very fast team but we were able to break them in the second half.”