2017-18 Team Profile: Unicaja Malaga

Aug 22, 2017 by Euroleague.net Print
2017-18 Team Profile: Unicaja Malaga

Unicaja Malaga comes off a historic season in which the club won the 7DAYS EuroCup, its first official title in 11 years, in epic fashion in its first-ever appearance in the competition. The club's second ever international trophy vaulted Unicaja back to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague after a one-season absence. A fourth-place regular season finish was just enough to get Unicaja to the Top 16, and even after consecutive losses against Valencia Basket midway through that phase, head coach Joan Plaza and his team did not surrender. A win over ALBA Berlin sent Unicaja to the playoffs, where despite not having the home-court advantage in any of its series, Unicaja downed FC Bayern Munich, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Valencia to lift the trophy. Alberto Diaz was chosen as the EuroCup Finals MVP and Dejan Musli made it to the All-EuroCup First Team, while players like Carlos Suarez, Jamar Smith, Alen Omic and Kyle Fogg, among others, were key contributors to a history-making campaign. Unicaja also reached the Spanish Copa del Rey tournament and the Spanish League semifinals. This season, expect thousands of Unicaja fans to enjoy watching their team against every powerful squad out there in the new EuroLeague!


2015-16 Euroleague 11-13 Top 16
2014-15 Euroleague 8-16 Top 16
2013-14 Euroleague 11-13 Top 16
2012-13 Euroleague 15-9 Top 16
2011-12 Euroleague 4-12 Top 16
2010-11 Euroleague 6-10 Top 16
2009-10 Euroleague 9-7 Top 16
2008-09 Euroleague 10-6 Top 16
2007-08 Euroleague 13-7 Top 16
2006-07 Euroleague 14-11 Semifinal, Final Four
2005-06 Euroleague 15-5 Top 16
2004-05 Euroleague 6-8 Regular Season
2003-04 Euroleague 4-10 Regular Season
2002-03 Euroleague 8-12 Top 16
2001-02 Euroleague 6-8 Regular Season
TOTAL: 155-147


2015-16 Eurocup 13-9 Champion
TOTAL: 13-9


Unicaja needs no introduction to EuroLeague fans around the world. Founded in 1977 as Club Baloncesto Caja de Ronda, it wasn't until 1992 – when it merged with cross-town rival Maristas – that the club started to challenge for bigger goals. Everything clicked in 1995 when Unicaja came within a shot of winning its first Spanish League title. Mike Ansley missed that shot in Game 4 of the finals and the club would have to wait until 2001 before it could celebrate its first crown. That time, led by Coach Bozidar Maljkovic and star scorer Veljko Mrsic, Unicaja was finally rewarded by winning the Korac Cup over Hemofarm Vrsac in a two-game final series. Unicaja followed that success by reaching the Spanish League finals in 2002 and the EuroLeague Top 16 for the first time in 2003, which proved to be the cornerstone of a bright future. In 2005, Unicaja lifted the Spanish Copa del Rey trophy for its first domestic title behind star forward Jorge Garbajosa. Things got even better the next season: Unicaja won the Spanish League championship with Garbajosa and home-grown talents Berni Rodriguez and Carlos Cabezas among those leading the way for Coach Sergio Scariolo. A year later, Unicaja marked its greatest continental success to date by reaching the 2007 EuroLeague Final Four in Athens, led by Daniel Santiago, Carlos Jimenez, Cabezas and Rodriguez. Even though CSKA stopped Unicaja in the semifinal, the club had confirmed its status among the European elite. Unicaja advanced to the Copa del Rey title game in 2009 before losing in overtime against Tau Ceramica. Despite the lack of trophies, Unicaja has been consistent, especially with its long Top 16 run in the EuroLeague. Unicaja made it to the EuroLeague Top 16 in 11 consecutive seasons, an achievement that only FC Barcelona and Panathinaikos Athens have matched. Coach Joan Plaza and players like Jayson Granger, Carlos Suarez and Fran Vazquez kept Unicaja competitive as the team reached to the Spanish League semifinals in 2014 and 2015. Last season, Unicaja made its EuroCup debut a spectacular one, overcoming the lack of home-court advantage in three playoff series to claim the title. Its tradition enhanced with a new trophy from its EuroCup experience, Unicaja now returns to the continental elite.

Trophy Case

EuroCup: 2016-17
Korac Cup: 2001
Spanish National League: 2005-06
Spanish National Cup "Copa del Rey": 2005