2020-21Top 16Round 4
February 03, 2021 CET: 20:00
Local time: 20:00 MAURICE THOREZ

Kaba leads Nanterre for a sweep of Unicaja

With a boost from Alpha Kaba's career-best performance, Nanterre 92 rallied in the fourth quarter to down the visiting Unicaja Malaga 80-74 on Wednesday night. The victory improved Nanterre to 2-2 in third place of Group E and gave it a sweep of Unicaja, which dropped to 0-4 and was eliminated with the loss. The teams traded big first-half runs, with Nanterre dominating the first quarter and Unicaja doing the same in the second. They continued trading blows in the second half and Unicaja led 59-66 early in the fourth before Nanterre rallied behind Chris Warren and Kaba to pull out the victory. Kaba had career-highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Warren scored 19 in a victory. Tyler Stone added 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Johnny Berhanemeskel scored 11 points for Nanterre. Yannick Nzosa paced Unicaja with 13 points. Axel Bouteille scored 12, while Jaime Fernandez, Francis Alonso, Adam Waczynski and Tim Abromatisi had 10 apiece in the loss.

The hosts had things go their way early on. Isaia Cordinier fought for a put-back and Marcquise Reed raced for a fastbreak dunk before Ivan Fevrier knocked down a triple to make it 11-6. Adam Waczynski scored inside and Abromaitis from the outside for Unicaja, but Warren had a pair of jumpers and Kaba a pair of close-range baskets to make it 26-13 after 10 minutes. A triple from Berhanemeskel opened a 29-15 difference early in the second quarter, but Nzosa scored inside and Bouteille from long range to spark the visitors' offense. Alonso hit from deep, too, while Nzosa and Bouteille continued scoring inside before back-to-back triples from Abromaitis and Fernandez put Unicaja in front 30-33. Warren snapped a 1-18 Unicaja run with a three-pointer and Stone had a three-point play, but the visitors scored the last 7 points of the half to take a 36-42 advantage into halftime.

Nanterre opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run, with Warren knocking down 2 triples before Bouteille and Alonso answered in kind to send Unicaja back in front. A triple from Waczynski put Unicaja up 46-51, but Kaba scored 7 points, including a three-point play, and the teams went to the fourth quarter tied at 57-57. A pair of baskets from Nzosa and the young big man's dunk-plus-foul opened a 59-66 lead for Unicaja But Stone and Cordinier fought inside, and after Dario Brizuela's three-point play, Warren and Stone restore Nanterre's lead at 72-71. Fernandez had a three-point play for the visitors, but Warren finished a fastbreak with a layup, then Kaba caught an offensive rebound and had a basket-plus-foul 38.5 second to go to make it 78-74, lifting Nanterre to victory.

Game hero

Alpha Kaba had a monster game with 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting, and 7 of his 15 rebounds were on the offensive glass. He scored 7 points and had 3 offensive rebounds in the final 7 minutes of the game.

Rebounding dominance

Kaba had 15 of Nanterre's 46 rebounds as the hosts outrebounded Unicaja 46-26 on the night.

Big runs

Nanterre had a 13-3 run in the first, and Unicaja had a 1-18 spurt in the second quarter that turned the game around. But the last big run was by the hosts, ending the game with a 14-2 run in the final 4 minutes to pull out a victory.

Young gun rises

Unicaja big man Yannic Nzosa will not turn 18 until November, but it did not stop him from standing out in this game. He played a career-high 23 minutes and scored a career-best 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. He also had 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block.

Next up

Both teams will be back in action on the road in the first week of March for Round 5. Nanterre will face its French League rival AS Monaco (3-1) and Unicaja will play a fellow Spanish side, Joventut Badalona (3-1).

Alpha Kaba - Nanterre 92 (photo Nanterre - Claire Macel) - EC20
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: PANTHER, ANNE; KOWALSKI, MARCIN; RACYS, SAULIUS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
Nanterre 9226102123
Unicaja Malaga13291517
End of Quarter1234
Nanterre 9226365780
Unicaja Malaga13425774
Nanterre 92
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 REED, MARCQUISE 25:46 4 2/5 0/4 0/2 1 2 3   3 2     2 2 -1
1 BERHANEMESKEL , JOHNNY 18:48 11 1/3 1/2 6/6         1 1     2 4 10
3 FORTAS, FLORIAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 FEVRIER, IVAN 15:14 3   1/4   1 2 3     1     1   1
8 BOUQUET, DAMIEN 6:13           1 1               1
10 CORDINIER, ISAIA 25:31 8 2/8 0/1 4/4 2 7 9 2   6 1   3 3 7
11 KABA, ALPHA 34:51 21 6/9   9/12 7 8 15 1 1 2   1 4 8 33
14 CONKLIN, BRIAN 5:09         1   1     1     2   -2
33 STONE, TYLER 24:46 12 5/6 0/1 2/3 3 3 6 2 1 2     1 3 18
44 REBIC, NIKOLA 11:15 2     2/2   2 2 1 1 1       2 7
69 WARREN, CHRIS 32:27 19 4/10 3/4 2/2   1 1 4 1 2 1 1 3 2 15
Team           3 2 5               5
Totals 200:00 80 20/41 5/16 25/31 18 28 46 10 8 18 2 2 18 24 94
        48.8% 31.3% 80.6%
Head coach: DONNADIEU, PASCAL
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
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 THOMPSON, DEON 19:53   0/2     2 1 3 2   1 1   1 1 3
3 FERNANDEZ, JAIME 27:32 10 3/7 1/1 1/1 1 2 3 5 1 6     4 6 11
4 FERRARI, FRANCO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 BRIZUELA, DARIO 16:50 7 3/6 0/4 1/1 1   1 2 1 1   1 3 1  
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 15:03     0/2         2 1       3 2  
10 ALONSO, FRANCIS 20:35 10 2/3 2/4         2         1   8
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 18:09 10 2/3 2/6                   3 1 3
23 ABROMAITIS, TIM 18:40 10 1/2 2/4 2/2   4 4 1 1 1     3 1 10
32 GUERRERO, RUBEN 15:32 2 1/4     1 5 6 1         1 1 6
33 NZOSA, YANNICK 22:49 13 5/6   3/5 4 1 5 1 1   1   3 4 19
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 3:06               1         1    
83 BOUTEILLE, AXEL 21:51 12 3/5 2/5     2 2     3   1 1 1 5
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 74 20/38 9/26 7/9 9 17 26 17 5 12 2 2 24 18 67
        52.6% 34.6% 77.8%
Head coach: KATSIKARIS, FOTIS

Head Coaches

DONNADIEU, PASCAL
Nanterre 92
"It was a great game for our team. Unicaja has a really good team. We had a solid game, we were consistent in the second half. We did not give up when they were up. It is a team that always scores 80 points in the EuroCup, except against Monaco, so on defense we had a great game. And Alpha Kaba was absolutely brilliant tonight. He had so much impact on the game. We believe we can qualify. We saw the game between Monaco and Joventut. They are still the favorites, but we are still alive. It is a great competition. We adore this competition. We gained experience tonight. We hope we will grow more and more for March for the last two games. We have to play two more games like this one to go through."
KATSIKARIS, FOTIS
Unicaja Malaga
"There are some numbers in the statistics that will say that we had a close game and we had a possibility to win, but if you play defense and you don't control the rebounds and then you make a foul because they had 31 free throws with a very good percentage, then you have a problem. We had a problem in our defense. When we were 7 points up with 6 minutes to go, they scored with offensive rebounds and they came back in the game. At that point we were controlling our offense good, we were controlling our defense good. This team has talent and more athleticism than us, that is very clear. The way we started the game, with a lot of problems with one-on-one defense and on offensive rebounds, which we corrected in the second quarter, and when the game was ready to be decided, we did not have the extra effort from everybody just to control the rebounds. And on the offense in the last minute-and-a-half, we had four situations with open shots with people who make those shots. And we missed all of them. That says a little psychological part how our team is right now. We miss physicality, we miss presence inside the paint."

Players

KABA, ALPHA
Nanterre 92
"We played a great game. We had a lot of intensity, I think that helped us tonight. We had ups and downs, that was a great team in front of us, so we had no choice but to have more intensity than them. So, I think we did the job everywhere defensively. We secured rebounds, and we set our rhythm, found good solutions moving the ball."
BOUTEILLE, AXEL
Unicaja Malaga
"I think for us it is the same story. We gave them a lot of free throws and we suffered a lot on the rebounds. They took so many offensive rebounds. We have good moments in the game, like tonight in the second quarter, but we have moments that I feel it is always like this, that we repeat the same story at bad moments. And in the end, we lose by a couple of points."