Badalona (Barcelona) (EFE).- Unicaja culminated in Badalona, against Lenovo Tenerife (80-83), their great work in the Copa del Rey, which they won for the second time in their history after eliminating Barça in the previous rounds and Real Madrid, a feat that no team had ever done in the ACB era.
The team from Malaga, which this Sunday was approaching its fourth final and which had only won the title in Zaragoza 2005, overcame the great game of Marcelinho Huertas (21 points and 10 assists) and Giorgi Shermadini (20 points and 9 rebounds) with a choral performance that went from less to more.
Tyson Carter (17 points, all of them after the break) and Tyler Kalinoski (14) propped up a hard-fought victory for the compositor team from the perimeter that was forged in the last quarter, when Lenovo Tenerife, the tournament’s oldest team, finished heartbroken before the physical superiority of his rival.
The electric match started, with both teams playing at full speed and with maximum intensity from the initial jump. Txus Vidorreta and Ibón Navarro moved the bench over and over again to maintain the rhythm and the tension and the first quarter was a constant exchange of blows.
Kravish unleashed hostilities for Unicaja with a couple of actions, after Cook’s first basket. And Salin and Barreiro joined the party from the triple.
Shermadini appeared, first, and Guerra, later, for Tenerife, and the second compositor unit, with Thomas, Alberto Díaz and Kalinoski, in a first quarter with minimal advantages from one team to the other and with constant alternations on the scoreboard.
The triple on Kalinoski’s horn closed the first set with an advantage for Unicaja (16-17). Again the American guard scored at the beginning of the second, but then Marcelinho Huertas appeared to equalize the game at the limit of possession.
Under the masterful direction of the Brazilian point guard and the power of Shermadini in the paint, the aurinegro team managed to put some ground in the middle with an 8-0 run that put them 7 points ahead (33-26, min.16). , an abyss as the party was cooking.
But Vidorreta put Fitipaldo on track to rest Huertas and Unicaja breathed a little more relieved. Navarro’s men looked for attacks in transition thanks to their dominance in the offensive rebound, but they ended up crashing against the tough defense of the island block.
Even so, a basket from Perry, a 2+1 from Ejim and another triple from Kalinoski tied the game again (36-36), and Thomas, from the free kick, gave the people of Malaga a minimal advantage.
But by then, Huertas, who finished the first half with 8 points and 5 assists, had already returned to the field to play the last possession with a stratospheric triple that closed the game 39-37 at halftime.
Brizuela appeared at the start of the restart scoring five points which, along with two free throws by Osetkowski, gave the Andalusian team a +5 margin (39-44).
But a triple by Salin, two baskets by Shermanidi and seven consecutive points by Huertas turned the game around again (53-44, min.26) with a 14-0 run that forced Navarro to call a timeout.
Unicaja reacted at the end of the third period with the furious irruption of Carter’s superclass -10 points in this quarter- and an almost infallible Kalinoski from the triple to equalize the electronic score again (60-60) with ten minutes remaining for the final.
Carter continued with a hot wrist in the fourth quarter, and so did Huertas, but the grandfather of the Cup began to run out of gasoline to also use himself fully in each defensive action.
A basket by Kalinoski and a robbery by Thomas with a mate included had the reply again from Huertas and Shermadini (67-69, min.34), but Tenerife no longer has any strength left.
Unicaja pressed in defense and Barreiro and Osetowski shot from 6.75 to put their team eight up (69-77, min.37). That was the end of the game. The Tenerife side, who was playing their first final, could only make up the result a little. And Jaime Fernández, with a triple on the horn, put the final 80-83.
80 – Lenovo Tenerife (16+23+21+20): Fitipaldo (3), Salin (7), Doornekamp (3), Cook (3), Shermadini (20) -starting five- Huertas (21), Fernández (16 ), Abromaitis (3), Guerra (4) and Rodríguez (-).
83 – Unicaja (17+20+23+23): Perry (6), Carter (17), Barreiro (8), Ejim (3), Kravish (8) -starting five- Thomas (5), Díaz (6) , Brizuela (7), Kalinoski (14) and Osetkowski (9).
Referees: Emilio Pérez Pizarro, Benjamín Jiménez and Fernando Calatrava. No deleted.
Incidents: Final of the Copa del Rey played at the Palau Municipal d’Esports in Badalona before 11,458 spectators. Between the first and second quarters, tribute was paid to the Spanish Basketball Federation for its centenary. EFE