2016-17FinalsGame 3
April 05, 2017 CET: 20:30
Local time: 20:30 LA FONTETA

Unicaja Malaga is 2017 7DAYS EuroCup champion

Unicaja Malaga is the 2016-17 7DAYS EuroCup champion! Unicaja won its first trophy of any kind in 11 years with a stunning come-from-behind victory over Valencia Basket 58-63 in front of a sellout crowd at Fuente de San Luis. The visitors used a 0-18 fourth-quarter charge to come back from a 13-point deficit. Unicaja’s defense held Valencia to just 4 fourth-quarter points. Homegrown guard Alberto Diaz paced Unicaja with 12 points and Jamar Smith added 10. Bojan Dubljevic paced Valencia with 16 points. Valencia outrebounded Unicaja 36-26, including 15 offensive boards, but suffered a poor shooting night, making just 12 of 33 two-point shots (36.4%) and 9 of 36 threes (25%). By winning, Unicaja became the first EuroCup newcomer to win the competition since Hapoel Jerusalem did so in 2004. The club claimed its first continental title in almost 16 year – since winning the Korac Cup title in 2001 – and became the fourth Spanish team to lift the trophy, following Valencia, Real Madrid and Joventut Badalona. Joan Plaza became the third coach to win multiple EuroCup titles; he previously won the competition with Real Madrid in 2007. And Oliver Lafayette added a second EuroCup title to his roll of honors after winning it with Valencia in 2014.

Diaz got Unicaja going with a three-pointer and soon added a jumper for a 2-5 lead. Adam Waczynski struck from downtown and a floater by Jeff Brooks boosted the guests' lead to 2-10. Will Thomas stepped up with a triple and a free throw, but another jumper by Diaz and a driving layup by Nemanja Nedovic caused Valencia stop the game at 6-14. Dubljevic scored down low and Joan Sastre struck twice from downtown to bring the hosts within 14-16. Dubljevic kept pacing Valencia with back-to-back three-pointers and added a jump hook for a 22-18 lead after 10 minutes. Dubljevic scored again early in the second quarter and a layup by Rafa Martinez made it an 8-point game after a 20-4 run. Alen Omic dunked and split free throws, but a triple by Luke Sikma and a layup by Romain Sato made it a double-digit game, 31-21. Omic and Brooks rescued Unicaja and a driving layup by Nedovic brought Unicaja within 33-30 at the break.

Fernando San Emeterio hit one from beyond the arc right after the break and got help from Sastre and an unstoppable Dubljevic to establish a 40-32 Valencia lead. Diaz struck from downtown, but San Emeterio hit free throws and Sam Van Rossom added a triple, after which Unicaja called timeout at 45-35. Omic scored down low and Dani Diez added a triple, but Van Rossom kept Valencia in charge, 50-41. After Nedovic fouled Rafa Martinez, Omic leapt off the bench to prevent a physical altercation, but was disqualified for entering the court. A big three-point play by Sato helped Valencia take a 54-43 margin after 30 minutes. Thomas hit a jumper for a 13-point advantage, but Diez answered with a three-pointer. Smith made free throws and followed Diez's triple with a bomb from downtown to bring Unicaja back to life at 56-54 with four minutes left. Brooks scored around the basket and a three-pointer by Smith completed the guests' comeback. Valencia kept missing shots and free throws by Diaz capped a 0-18 run for a 56-61 advantage in the next-to-last minute. Dubljevic hit free throws to make it a 3-point game, but missed its next 3 attempts from downtown, including Brooks soaring to block a Martinez shot with 17 seconds remaining. Nedovic split free throws to make it a two-possession game and Unicaja held on for the title.

Carlos Suarez, Unicaja Malaga champ Eurocup 2017 - EC Finals 2017 - EC16
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Attendance: 7813
By Quarter1234
Valencia Basket2211214
Unicaja Malaga18121320
End of Quarter1234
Valencia Basket22335458
Unicaja Malaga18304363
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 THOMAS, WILL 16:48 6 1/4 1/1 1/2 1   1   2 1   1 2 1 2
8 DIOT, ANTOINE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 VAN ROSSOM, SAM 22:45 6 0/2 2/7   2 2 4 4         1 3 9
10 SATO, ROMAIN 17:03 5 2/4 0/2 1/1 2 3 5           1 1 6
14 DUBLJEVIC, BOJAN 24:57 16 4/8 2/4 2/2 2 4 6 1 1 1   1 3 6 19
16 VIVES, GUILLEM 17:15   0/1 0/5     4 4 5     1 2 2 1 1
17 MARTINEZ, RAFA 17:26 3 1/2 0/5 1/1   2 2 1       1 5 2 -4
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 15:03 4 2/4 0/1   2 1 3     2 1 2 1 2 2
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 22:57 7 1/6 1/3 2/2 1 2 3           2 1 2
30 SASTRE, JOAN 22:34 8 1/1 2/6   1   1 2   1   1 3   2
42 FERRANDO, LUIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
43 SIKMA, LUKE 23:12 3 0/1 1/2   4 3 7 2   3     4 1 4
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 58 12/33 9/36 7/8 17 23 40 15 3 9 2 8 24 18 46
        36.4% 25% 87.5%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 OKOUO, VINY 4:25                   1         -1
8 FOGG, KYLE 12:04 2 1/2 0/2     1 1 1   1   1 1 1 -1
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 24:53 12 2/3 2/3 2/2       2 2   1   4 1 12
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 22:47 9 0/1 3/4     3 3       1   1   10
15 SMITH, JAMAR 19:47 10 1/5 2/4 2/2   1 1 3 2 2       3 11
16 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA 21:00 6 2/5 0/2 2/4 1 1 2 4   2 2 1 2 5 7
20 LAFAYETTE, OLIVER 3:03     0/1                   1   -2
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 16:26 3   1/3     6 6     1     2   4
23 BROOKS, JEFF 27:53 9 2/5 0/4 5/6 1 4 5 1     2   3 4 10
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 24:56 4 2/3 0/2   2 3 5   2   1   3 6 12
44 MUSLI, DEJAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
92 OMIC, ALEN 22:46 8 3/6   2/5   3 3     1 1   3 3 5
Team           4 7 11               11
Totals 200:00 63 13/30 8/25 13/19 8 29 37 11 6 8 8 2 20 23 78
        43.3% 32% 68.4%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

Valencia Basket
"It was a tough game for us. It was hard for us to get into the game, but then we had good moments. We had the game where we wanted it, but we collapsed and were not able to hit some good shots. I believe that basketball is a very mental game. We were in a good mental moment in the first half, but a very bad one in the fourth quarter. Unicaja went the other way around; they hit some very important shots in the fourth quarter, especially Dani Diez. It was a tough loss and I am disappointed with this loss. I feel sad for my players and our fans. We were all very excited, but this is professional sports. We have to think about the next game right away. It is hard to find the reasons for our collapse. We missed some shots that went together with some players being tired. That allowed them to get some easy baskets and some offensive rebounds that punished us. Those small details undermined our confidence. Unicaja felt more and more confident, and that was the game."
Unicaja Malaga

"When we saw our big guy go the locker room, we changed our character, gave our best and very much deserved to win. To return to the EuroLeague in this sporting way I think is incredible. My guys believed in me. They enjoyed playing. We followed the plan, we followed the plan, and finally they deserved it. For Malaga, it's incredible. For the club, 11 years without titles is so tough. And for me, it's incredible to return in this way. I enjoy, but I understand that my way to understand basketball is absolutely good for the titled, good for the players, good for our club. I would like to dedicate this to my family, to all the people of Malaga, of Andalusia, of Spain. Everybody who enjoyed this with us, with me, thanks for all the help."

""First of all, I would like to congratulate my staff and my players. Our physical trainer Rafa worked really hard because we had some injured players. We knew we would have some moments to return to the game when we were some points behind Valencia, with Alen Omic out. We managed to rally in the fourth quarter and get the victory. They have talent and believed in themselves, which is most important. I want to dedicate this trophy to all the people who believed in us and in the way we work. I would like to thank everyone in Malaga and Andalusia and from all over Spain who were happy for us. This is good for basketball, good for us. It showed we persevered and did a good job. It is easy for us to say it but when we started the series, our goal was to take it to the fourth quarter of Game 3 and have chances to win it. We had a plan: get to that point and be able to change the rhythm of the game. We had faith in pulling a rabbit out of the hat. Carlos Suarez had to play center, we were forced to play small ball, and that raised our intensity. They scored just four points in the entire fourth quarter. Jamar (Smith) was having a bad night but he was able to help us a lot. Defensively, we went to the limit, doing small things differently to surprise them. It doesn't have to work out all the time, but my players believed in their chances."


Valencia Basket
"It is a shame because we had it really close, but they were the best team in the end. We really had everything in our favor and even though we were close to winning, we couldn't capitalize down the stretch. We have to keep working in the right direction, because that has allowed us to play two finals so far this season, the Copa del Rey and EuroCup. We will now try to go for a third one."
Valencia Basket
"There was a key play in which we had five offensive rebounds and could not score. We had the game almost in our hands, but couldn't get the win in the end. It is a shame, because we played well for many minutes and fought hard, but it was not enough. This is really hard; we had a great EuroCup, but couldn't get the biggest reward: winning it. We have to bounce back and try to reach as high as possible in the Spanish League."
Unicaja Malaga
"It was a tough, complicated game, just as we expected. We lost control of the game in the third quarter, but in that moment, we were able to cool down and be ourselves. We believed in ourselves and our mentality, which brought us here. I want to thank my teammates, our staff, the club and the City of Malaga for their support. The game was as we expected, decided by small details. We wanted to have chances down the stretch and the win ended up being on our side. Thank you to our fans for being there."
Unicaja Malaga
"This is the second time this year [we win Game 3] without home-court advantage, all the time from the quarterfinals. This is something unbelievable. We did it with Bayern first time. Now second time! I still don’t believe, but we deserved it. We played really hard against those teams. It’s not an accident. The whole team deserves it. The moment when Alen Omic was disqualified was crucial, everybody knew they needed to play harder. It was the impulse for us to go and get it. "
Unicaja Malaga
"I’m just so happy right now. I don’t even know what to say. That’s been the story of this season; people have counted us out all year, even at the beginning of the year. But we kept fighting and we won. We have a team full of fighters. Our coach put that in us in the beginning of the year and we just try to compete every game, no matter what."
Unicaja Malaga
"These guys really deserve it. Coach really deserves it. We worked really hard to get to this point, to get this win. Incredible. That’s all I can say. These guys never gave up, a lot of teams would have folded at that point and we didn’t. We were able to come up with the EuroCup championship. To me this means everything. I came here to win and I couldn’t have asked to be in a better situation to be in to do what we came here to do. "
Unicaja Malaga
"I'm at a loss for words right now. You know, we came so far in this EuroCup this year. As I said before in an interview, we were on a roller coaster and we finished at the top. A lot of people didn't think we were going to be in this situation from the get-go, and here we are as the champions. That shows the type of perseverance we had as a team, the coaching staff, the fans and the city of Malaga. It's a wonderful feeling, a wonderful feeling. We came into the whole tournament and the top eight with the attitude that we don't give up. We've been at the disadvantage of home court in all three series and here we are as the champions tonight. I think it shows once again our persistence to win. We were down in the fourth quarter by 11 to start and came out winning by five. And that is a testament to our defense. Wonderful job on defense, everybody helping each other. And that's what I said to the team before: whatever we did tonight we fight as a team. And that's what we did, came out and did that for 40 minutes."
Unicaja Malaga
"It's incredible. The team is incredible, on defense, on offense. This, for the city, for Malaga, and for Malaga basketball, is very important."
No results found.