Unicaja Malaga secured a valuable 77-75 road win against Asseco Prokom in Gdynia for the team’s first win of the new Euroleague season.
The Spanish side led for the majority of the game but had to survive a late onslaught from the Poles as they fell behind with three minutes left thanks to a bucket from Adam Hrycaniuk. Malaga hit back though and showed great character to see the game out as Earl Calloway hit his free throws to give the visitors a vital win.
Marcus Williams led Malaga with 18 points and four assists helped out by Txemi Urtasun with 14 but Unicaja coach Jasmin Repesa has the entire team to thank for sticking together when it mattered and not resorting to rushed offensive basketball.
“We won the game, but in the locker room I said to my players that it wasn’t a good game for us,” Repesa said. “We still need some time to learn how to play together, because we have 10 new players and a new coach who spent a lot of time with his national team.”
Repesa knows there is still work to be done with his new-look side, but they forced Asseco Prokom into 15 turnovers which played a factor which Gdynia coach Kestutis Kemzura knew.
“That was a close game, a really close game and we had our chances,” Kemzura admitted. “We can’t win against such a great team like Malaga if we make 15 turnovers.”
The former Lithuanian coach also admitted to having no big men to help finish off crucial plays in the fourth, depsite winning the final quarter overall 16-14. Lukasz Koszarek led the Polish side in vain with 16 points. New signing Alex Acker played limited minutes and only managed three points.
Malaga got off to a good start, racing out to a 28-22 lead after one, but were sub-par after that, yet they managed tto maintain the lead for the majority of the game.
The Liga Endesa side though finished as victors with the score at 77-72 with six seconds left, Asseco Prokom guard Jerel Blassingame connected on a three-point play but unfortunately they were unable to foul to put Unicaja Malaga to the line when it mattered.
Asseco Prokom drop to 0-2 while Malaga are 1-1.