2020-21Regular SeasonRound 8
November 18, 2020 CET: 19:00
Local time: 19:00 MORACA

Unicaja seals Top 16 qualification in Podgorica

Unicaja Malaga confirmed the first 7DAYS Eurocup Top 16 berth from Group B with a convincing 66-90 road win over Buducnost VOLI on Wednesday. The visitors took charge from the very beginning and never looked back. They finished the first period with a solid 10-23 advantage, and when the hosts got within 39-45 right after halftime, a 2-16 run led by Francis Alonso and Deon Thompson boosted Unicaja's lead to 41-61 to put the game on ice. Unicaja, which improves to 6-2 atop Group B, had four players score in double figures. Alonso, Thompson and Dario Brizuela tallied 15 each, followed by Axel Bouteille with 10. Nikola Ivanovic posted 20 points and 4 assists for Buducnost, while Melvin Ejim contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds against his former teammates. Buducnost's record dropped to 3-3.

Unicaja had a strong start pushed by Diaz and Thompson, who combined to give the visitors an early 6-11 lead. Soon, Volodymyr Gerun followed by banking a couple of shots to make it 6-16. Buducnost remained scoreless for 3 minutes until Dragan Apic was fed for a strong dunk, but Unicaja allowed no more than another basket and a couple of free throws from Ivanovic to reach the end of the first quarter with a comfortable 12-23 lead. Brizuela and Tim Abromaitis made that gap bigger, 14-27, early in the second quarter, but Ivanovic and Sehovic scored 3 points each to keep Buducnost within 20-29. Jaime Fernandez and Alonso replied from long range, and even though Ivanovic capped a 6-0 Buducnost run from deep, 5 five points in a row from Alonso steadied Unicaja calm at 30-41. Cobbs took over for the hosts with 5 consecutive points to get them as close as 37-45 at halftime. Cobbs remained hot after the break, but Unicaja found a timely answer from outside through Alonso and Thompson. Back-to-back triples from each sparked a 0-13 run to a huge 41-61 advantage for the visitors midway through the third quarter. Ivanovic ended the drought from downtown, but no one else joined to help Buducnost react. Baskets were few and far between from then until the third quarter ended 49-67. Ejim tried to wake his team up but Brizuela and Adam Waczynski continued to punish the hosts from outside, as another bomb by the latter raised the difference to 51-74 with still 7 minutes to play. Bouteille made it 62-82 with back-to-back threes not long after, thus confirming Unicaja's ticket for the Top16.

Shooting accuracy

After setting a club record by hitting 64% of its three-point shots against Mornar the previous week, Unicaja displayed a great shooting performance once again. It went 12-for-26 from behind the arc (46.2%) with six different players contributing triples.

Game-changing moment

Even though the visitors never trailed and built an early double-digit lead, Buducnost didn't surrender and, pushed by Justin Cobbs, managed to come within 39-45 right after halftime. A three-pointer by Francis Alonso at that moment sparked a 2-16 run in which Alonso provided another trey and Thompson two more of his own, killing all hopes on the home side.

Did you know?

Unicaja remains unbeaten against Buducnost, as it dominates their head-to-head record with a perfect 6-0, including the two games they played this season.

Next round

Buducnost must turn around in 28 hours to play a Round 6 makeup game on the road against Germani Brescia. Unicaja does not return to action until Wednesday, December 8, with a Round 9 road game, also in Brescia.

Deon Thompson - Unicaja Malaga (photo Buducnost) - EC20
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: LAURINAVICIUS, JURGIS; PEERANDI, RAIN; RADOJKOVIC, JOSIP
Attendance: 0 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica12251217
Unicaja Malaga23222223
End of Quarter1234
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica12374966
Unicaja Malaga23456790
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 COBBS, JUSTIN 27:14 9 3/10 0/2 3/3   1 1 4       2 2 3 4
2 IVANOVIC, NIKOLA 28:24 20 2/6 3/4 7/7   1 1 4   2   1 3 6 20
3 EJIM, MELVIN 31:56 12 5/9   2/2   6 6 1 1 4     3 2 11
4 SEHOVIC, SUAD 21:15 6 0/1 2/6                   4   -3
7 NIKOLIC, DANILO 19:33 2 1/2 0/2     5 5 1 2         1 8
8 APIC, DRAGAN 21:07 5 1/3   3/6 1 5 6     1       4 9
9 MITROVIC, LUKA 14:37   0/2       2 2 1 2 2     2   -1
19 NIKOLIC, ZORAN 12:22 4 2/4   0/2 2   2 1 1   1   2 2 5
31 KOJICIC , DANILO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
44 ZUGIC, FEDOR 23:32 8 2/4 1/3 1/1           3       4 5
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 66 16/41 6/17 16/21 5 23 28 12 6 12 1 3 16 22 63
        39% 35.3% 76.2%
Head coach: MIJOVIC , PETAR
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 15:58 15 3/4 3/5     4 4       1   1 2 18
3 FERNANDEZ, JAIME 14:54 6 3/5 0/1     3 3 6 1 2   1 3 2 9
8 BRIZUELA, DARIO 20:16 15 6/7 1/5   1   1 1 1 2     3   8
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 25:06 4   1/2 1/1   6 6 5 1 1     4 5 15
10 ALONSO, FRANCIS 18:41 15 1/3 4/5 1/1   1 1           2 3 14
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 22:05 5 0/2 1/5 2/2   1 1 5   2     1 1 3
23 ABROMAITIS, TIM 19:31 8 4/5 0/1     5 5 1 1       2   11
32 GUERRERO, RUBEN 12:27 2 1/6     1 3 4           1    
33 NZOSA, YANNICK 6:14 2 1/2       1 1           3   -1
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 6:18                              
52 GERUN, VOLODYMYR 19:32 8 4/6     2 2 4 1     2   2 2 13
83 BOUTEILLE, AXEL 18:58 10 1/5 2/2 2/2 3 3 6 1 2 3       1 13
Team           5 1 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 90 24/45 12/26 6/6 12 30 42 20 6 11 3 1 22 16 108
        53.3% 46.2% 100%
Head coach: CASIMIRO, LUIS

Head Coaches

MIJOVIC , PETAR
Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
"For sure, it was a tough opponent for us at this moment. Unicaja completely deserved the victory. We are happy we are again on court, not with a full roster, without preparation also, but we are on the court again, which is important."
CASIMIRO, LUIS
Unicaja Malaga
"[The Top 16] was our goal, so I'm happy now. I'm happy because of the work done by the team. We played very well on defense during the whole game, we controlled many aspects of it, so we are happy. Even though in the second quarter, sometimes, we lost control of the rhythm, in the second half we did a great job and controlled the game."

Players

THOMPSON, DEON
Unicaja Malaga
"We are happy, definitely. Our goal we have this season is to try to make it as far as we can in this competition, so making it to the Top 16 today was a great step towards that goal."