2019-20Top 16Round 5
February 05, 2020 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 PALACIO DE DEPORTES JOSE MARIA MARTIN CARPENA

Unicaja clinches first place in Group H

Unicaja Malaga secured first place in Group H and the home-court advantage for the EuroCup Quarterfinals by downing already-qualified Tofas Bursa 76-68 at Palacio de Deportes Martin Carpena on Wednesday night. The hosts needed a win to qualify and to do it by more than 2 points to finish first and they were able to accomplish both goals. Even though Unicaja led 43-34 at halftime, Tofas rallied back with a 0-13 early run in the third quarter that tied the game entering the fourth. A great defensive effort that held Tofas scoreless for 5 minutes allowed Unicaja to escape with the win. Josh Adams led the winners with 14 points, followed by Adam Waczynski and Ruben Guerrero with 11 and 10 points respectively. Tarik Phillip contributed 17 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting, Devin Williams posted 11 points and 7 rebounds and Sammy Mejia had 10 points for Tofas.

Back-to-back triples by Adams put the hosts in front 8-5 in the early going, followed by a basket-plus-foul and a banked layup by Volodymir Gerun that extended the gap to 13-5 midway through the first quarter. Adams continued perfect from deep to build a 16-7 advantage, but Matt Lojeski, Mejia and Williams combined on a 2-9 run to wake up Tofas and make it a one-possession game. Phillip took over then with a jumper and a buzzer-beating triple to finish the first quarter with Tofas up 20-21. Guerrero and Waczynski boosted Unicaja after the break and returned the lead to the hosts, but the momentum didn’t last for long as Tofas's defense forced several turnovers by the home team. D.J. White tied it at 27-27 with a three-pointer as both teams remained even for a couple of minutes. Waczynski came to the rescue from the outside and connected twice from downtown to boost Unicaja towards a 41-33 lead that Adams extended to 43-34 at the end of the first half.

Tofas stepped onto the court at full throttle in the third quarter, pushed by a glittering backcourt performance. Phillip, Lojeski and Mejia combined on a 0-13 run that put the visitors in charge 43-47 and turned the game upside down. Adams ended the drought for Unicaja with a three-point play and Guerrero hit twice from the line to make it 48-50 right before an unsportsmanlike foul called on Mejia allowed the hosts to get the lead back. Lojeski and Muhyamin Mustafa showed up at that moment with a couple of buckets, as Unicaja based its offense on Carlos Suarez's accuracy. As such, both squads traded leads for a while until Baris Ermis laid it up to close the third quarter with all still to play and tied at 59-59. Nerves took over entering the last period as no team was able to connect on offense for the first 3 and a half minutes. Gerun broke the trend with an inside bucket, followed by triple and a timely steal by Jaime Fernandez that raised the temperature in the gym. Deon Thompson made it 66-59 midway through the last quarter, as Unicaja seemed to have found its momentum at the right moment when Axel Toupane extended the lead to 71-63 with a three. Tofas answered from the free-throw line to prevent the hosts from breaking it, but Fernandez erupted with a layup and a difficult assist for a corner three by Alberto Diaz to set a 76-68 Unicaja advantage entering the last minute. A three-point attempt missed by Devin Williams was nothing but a preview of a long-waited celebration by Unicaja’s fans after securing first place in Group H.

Defense matters

Unicaja allowed only 68 points from Tofas, which is its worst scoring mark of the Top 16 and its second-worst this season. The hosts allowed only 9 points in the last quarter and just two field goals, holding the visitors scoreless for the first 5 minutes.

Everyone scored

In addition to its great defensive display, Unicaja showed great balance on offense as all players that stepped onto the court (9) scored 4 or more points.

Tofas's rally

Tofas had an impressive start after halftime. It punished Unicaja with a 0-13 run based on a tremendous performance by its backcourt. The visitors turned a 43-34 disadvantage into a 43-47 lead, but they couldn’t make it grow and once Unicaja took the lead in the last quarter, it never looked back.

Next round

With nothing at stake in Group H, Tofas Bursa will celebrate its qualification at home when it welcomes Morabanc Andorra on Wednesday, March 4, while Unicaja will stay in Spain and visit Joventut Badalona the same day.

Josh Adams - Unicaja Malaga (photo Mariano Pozo - Unicaja) - EC19
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: PUKL,SASA; PEERANDI, RAIN; AMBROSOV, MYKOLA
Attendance: 6915
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga20231617
Tofas Bursa2113259
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga20435976
Tofas Bursa21345968
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 22:16 4 2/5     1 1 2 2   3     2 1 1
3 FERNANDEZ, JAIME 27:20 7 2/6 1/4   1   1 6 1 3   1 4 2 2
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 20:56 7 2/3 1/3     2 2 2 1 1     1   7
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 27:41 5 1/3 1/3   2 4 6 3   5   1 2 4 6
14 ADAMS, JOSH 24:59 14 2/5 3/7 1/1   1 1 2     1   2 1 10
15 ELEGAR, FRANK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 SANCHEZ, PABLO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 19:04 11 1/4 3/6     3 3     1     1 1 7
28 TAMBA, ISMAEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 GUERRERO, RUBEN 17:04 10 4/4   2/3 1 4 5 1     2   3 2 16
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 20:17 9 2/2 1/3 2/4 2 5 7 3 2 3     3 3 14
52 GERUN, VOLODYMYR 20:23 9 4/4   1/2   2 2   1       3 3 11
Team           3 1 4               4
Totals 200:00 76 20/36 10/26 6/10 10 23 33 19 5 16 3 2 21 17 78
        55.6% 38.5% 60%
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
Tofas Bursa
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 MUSTAFA, MUHAYMIN 2:27 2 1/1             1           3
3 DURMAZ, BERKAN 16:28 2 1/1 0/1     2 2 3 1 2     3 1 3
5 UGURLU, BERK 14:58     0/1     2 2 3   1 1       4
6 ERMIS, BARIS 15:17 5 1/3   3/4   1 1     1   1 1 2 2
8 WHITE, DJ 22:55 8 1/1 1/2 3/3 1 4 5 2 1       4 1 12
9 MEJIA, SAMMY 26:13 10 5/7 0/2   1 1 2 1 2 4     3 1 5
15 BROWN, RION 20:26 5 1/3 1/1 0/2   1 1 3 1 1     1 2 6
22 PHILLIP, TARIK 21:00 17 4/7 3/4     2 2 3 1 1 1   1 4 22
24 LOJESKI, MATT 22:44 7 2/4 1/2   1 2 3 1 1 1       2 10
41 WILLIAMS, DEVIN 25:01 11 2/8 0/2 7/8 2 5 7     2   2 3 7 9
77 YASAR, MUHSIN 12:31 1 0/1   1/2   1 1   1 2     1 1 -1
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 68 18/36 6/15 14/19 6 23 29 16 9 16 2 3 17 21 77
        50% 40% 73.7%
Head coach: ENE, ORHUN

Head Coaches

CASIMIRO, LUIS
Unicaja Malaga

"We got the first place in our group and it’s very important for the next round. We have the opportunity to play two games in our home court, so for us it is very important. I’m very happy for the players, they did a very good job and showed a very good mentality. I’m proud of these players. Now it’s a good moment, a very good job and nice work."

"We had a very good first half regarding offensive rhythm, finding open shots, being very efficient in those situations. Our defense in the second quarter was the key to get the advantage we got at halftime. After the break they got back into the game and at that moment I think the game was already a different one. Much tougher, with less spaces and less open shots. But we read the game well, focused on defense we had lost the fluency we had to score in the first half, but I think our defense in the last quarter was extraordinary. Holding them at 9 points in the last quarter, to stop a team like this which is very good in offense, says a lot of good things about our job in defense."

ENE, ORHUN
Tofas Bursa
"I want to congratulate Unicaja for the win and the qualification to the next round. We wanted to finish in first place in the group, we came here to win this game. But we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I think we did a good job for the first three quarters; we had some good moments. When the game was 59-59, we made many stops in defense, but we didn’t find correct shots. Sometimes we found them and didn’t score, but in offense we couldn’t find a solution versus their aggressiveness. I believe this the key to us losing. We had a couple of players without rhythm in this game also, but still the game was tight. It is understandable that if you win at home by 2 points, it's not going to be easy to win here. I think we lost our chances to end first when we won the first game at home by only 2 points. This is a big jump for our club and our organization. We are happy. Our first goal was to pass the first group and we are happy that we finished the Top 16 in second place."

Players

GUERRERO, RUBEN
Unicaja Malaga
"We knew it was really a good game for us coming in and we knew getting a win, at home, with our fans, it was going to be really good for the next one. We have the home-court advantage and we took care of business. I’m just really happy to finally be helping the team. We got 3 wins a row and I’m happy to keep helping and keep winning."