Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 18, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
Road to Athens: Unicaja
Unicaja will travel to a Final Four for the first time in club history after having overcome both injuries and odds to challenge for the title of 2007 Euroleague champion.
had dominated the Euroleague for stretches in the past, but never fulfilled its Final Four dream. Not this time. Despite coming off its first Spanish League title ever, Unicaja faced question marks after the departure of All-Euroleague selection Jorge Garbajosa and injury to all-time Euroleague scoring leader
. However, with center
back, plus the arrivals of swingman
and defensive whiz
, fans in Malaga had plenty of hope. Indeed, the trio of Jimenez, Cabezas and Rodriguez gave Unicaja more players from the newly-crowned world champion Spanish national team than any other club. Unicaja had a rocky start, however, falling to 0-3 while losing to games in overtime and one at the buzzer. Besides sharing last place in its group, Unicaja hit a new low with a 53-point road loss in December, but bounced back and finished the regular season in style, winning four of five games to reach the Top 16 on the strength of some heroic plays by Sanchez. Once in the Top 16, Unicaja played with newfound intensity, with Santiago becoming the Euroleague's monthly MVP award for March. Unicaja was perfect at home and scored a key road win at Benetton to finish as group champion. With Brown making a comeback for the Quarterfinal Playoffs, Unicaja also protected its home-court advantage, stopping long-time nemesis Winterthur FC Barcelona in Game 1 and Game 3, the latter despite Santiago undergoing emergency surgery the same day. Unicaja, a Final Four newcomer called Unicaja was going to Athens!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
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