Basketball in Malaga is a different story. We arrived to the arena more than one hour before the game, and it was already full of people, creating a great atmosphere for a basketball game.
Two players remained in Athen for Olympiakos. Serbian center Zoran Erceg and small forward Vasilopoulos couldn't play today, but anyway this greek team has so many talent on its roster that it's a difficult mission to beat them.
Unicaja recovered three key players for the game. Carlos Cabezas, Berni Rodríguez and Marcus Haislip, all of them injured during last few weeks, were on the roster, but only the first one played today. The match promised to be one of the best possible to see nowadays in european courts.
The main attraction was, of course, Josh Childress. Best well-payed player in Europe has not given his best yet, but he's obviously the player to stop in this great team. A team full of stars, like great Papaloukas, Nikola Vujcic, Lynn Greer, Big Sofo… Every member of the team is well-known player in Europe.
But Unicaja played at home, and it's now more then two years with no defeats here. Of course, it was difficult, but they finally made it happen. They played great defense, and as always, Thomas Kelati was there to score. I don't really know how a player like him could have been playing in Poland last year, and now he's a true star in this team. Printezis did a great job in those first minutes.
Next target for Unicaja was how to stop Schortsianits. It's great to see this player when he plays good. He's so big that sometimes you can't believe he moves that way. He hurted Unicaja, but some bad decisions drove him to the bench. And then it was Ndong who scored for Unicaja.
The game was all the same until the final minutes, when Unicaja got a solid advantage of five points that wouldn't loose in the end. Josh Childress didn't play a great game at all, but we could say the same about Halperin, Greer, Vujcic… Unicaja played great defense and finally they got their prize: a great win against one of the most important teams nowadays in Europe, and a clear call to play Final Four in Berlin.
Despite last efforts by Theo Papaloukas and Bourousis, Unicaja kept the win at home.