2019-20Regular SeasonRound 3
October 15, 2019 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 MARTIN CARPENA

Toupane leads Unicaja to triumph over Galatasaray

In a battle of two undefeated sides in the south of Spain on Tuesday night, Unicaja Malaga outlasted Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul 88-83 at Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena. Momentum favored neither side as the visitors took an early lead before Unicaja settled into its stride. The lead changed hands several times with the game hanging in the balance until the final minutes when the hosts asserted their dominance to snatch the victory. Axel Toupane led all scorers with 22 in an awesome display of shooting for the winners. Unicaja was aided too by Volodymyr Gerun’s 13 points, Deon Thompson’s 12 and 11 each from Adam Waczynski and Josh Adams. For the visitors, Aaron Harisson scored 20, Tai Webster netted 14 points and Zach Auguste 13.

Webster got things started as he drove to the basket and scored. Goksenin Koksal hit a three before Harrison scored to give the visitors a 0-7 lead. Unicaja eventually got on the board with a Thompson free throw but it was Galatasaray to score next with a Harrison three. Unicaja settled into the game and while it never really found its shooting range, the hosts got defensive stops. Unicaja drew within 10-12 midway through the opening quarter. Galatasaray kept its nose in front, but Unicaja wasn’t going anywhere. Waczynski hit a three and with under a minute left the score was 16-18. Webster struck from beyond the arc as Galatasaray took a 18-21 lead into the second quarter. Unicaja whittled the lead down to the minimum thanks to an Alberto Diaz basket. Gerun finished and was fouled as Unicaja earned the chance to level matters for the first time since the start of the game, which the home team duly did at 27-27. Melvin Ejim gave Unicaja its first lead of the game from the foul line. That didn’t last long though as Auguste countered with a three-point play. The lead changed hands again with a three from Thompson. The lead was as slender as possible though at 32-31. Harrison swung the lead in the opposite direction and Auguste solidified Galatasaray’s lead at 32-36. It was only fitting that Thompson leveled matters at 37-37 as halftime approached. Just when it looked like it would stay that way, Thompson connected on a corner three and the lead had a new owner. Thompson added a free throw to bring himself to 11 and Unicaja led 42-39 after the opening half.

The hosts extended their lead early in the third to 4 as Thompson scored his 8th point in a row. Unicaja threatened to open up a lead, but Galatasaray refused to lie down and Koksal hit another three to reduce the deficit again at 47-46. That was before Adams finished after a beautiful Eurostep along with a Waczynski three. Momentum, if there was any, seemed to be favoring the home side. Toupane got into double figures with 11 as he landed a three to give Malaga a 62-56 lead as time expired. After exchanging a couple of quick baskets, the third finished at 64-58 as a crack of daylight started to open up between the sides. Every time Unicaja led by as many as 6, Galatasaray replied. This time, it couldn’t though as Diaz hit a three and broke the visitors’ resistance. Another three from Toupane had the score at 70-58. Unicaja's lead was growing as Galatasaray’s hopes dwindled. Toupane’s hand was suddenly hot and he hit another three. He stole the resulting attack by Galatasaray and finished for his 8th point in succession. Unicaja led 14-2 in that fourth quarter and 78-60 overall. Galatasaray got it back down to 10 with just under 4 remaining at 78-68. Greg Whittington hit another three and the lead was down to 7. The visitors would whittle it down to as few as 6, but they had left themselves too much work to do. Adams hit a three for Unicaja and Harrison replied for Galatasaray to leave it 85-80 with under a minute to play. A Koksal triple made it a 4-point game but that was how this wild and entertaining game ended.

Game-changing play

The game swung back and forth with neither side really establishing themselves as the better side. Both teams threatened to take over but couldn’t. That was until Alberto Diaz turned a 6-point lead into a 9-point lead in the fourth quarter with a pivotal three. It gave Unicaja its biggest lead to that point and there was no looking back from there.


The crowd chanted MVP for Axel Toupane and they might have a point. He scored 22 points and at one stage in the fourth quarter, he scored 11 in a row for the home side. He was four from five from three-point land and had 3 assists and 3 steals to go with his impressive shooting display.

Did you notice?

Toupane finished with a career-high 22 points on Tuesday night. He also had a career-high 3 steals/

Next game

Unicaja puts its winning streak on the line against EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Germany on Wednesday, October 23rd. Galatasaray plays Buducnost VOLI Podgorica the same night as it tries to get back to winning ways.

Axel Toupane - Unicaja Malaga (photo Mariano Pozo - Unicaja) EC19
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Attendance: 5879
By Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga18232324
Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul21181925
End of Quarter1234
Unicaja Malaga18416488
Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul21395883
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 THOMPSON, DEON 18:45 12 1/4 2/2 4/6 1 3 4   1 2     1 5 14
4 AVRAMOVIC, ALEKSA 3:45                         1   -1
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 23:02 22 1/3 5/8 5/5   3 3   3       3 2 22
7 STILMA, MORGAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 23:15 5 1/1 1/2     2 2 1         4 2 5
14 ADAMS, JOSH 27:36 11 2/4 2/7 1/2   5 5 5 1 4   1 3 5 11
15 ELEGAR, FRANK 18:36 8 2/3   4/6 4 3 7 1   1 1   3 4 14
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 22:57 11 1/2 2/5 3/4 1   1 2 1 1     2 3 10
22 EJIM, MELVIN 19:39 2 0/3 0/1 2/2   4 4 1       1 2 2 2
32 GUERRERO, RUBEN 3:13                         1   -1
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 21:15 4   0/2 4/4   2 2 5   1       3 11
52 GERUN, VOLODYMYR 17:57 13 5/5   3/3 1   1 1   2     2 4 15
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 88 13/25 12/27 26/32 8 24 32 16 6 12 1 2 22 30 104
        52% 44.4% 81.3%
Head coach: CASIMIRO, LUIS
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
Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WEBSTER, TAI 26:21 14 4/12 2/2 0/1 2 1 3 4   3   1 4 2 6
1 WHITTINGTON, GREG 18:14 8 0/2 2/3 2/2 3 2 5   1 1     4 2 8
2 HARRISON, AARON 33:09 20 2/6 4/13 4/4 1 3 4 6 1 1     2 8 23
4 GOKALP, EMIR 2:44           1 1               1
7 ARSLAN, YIGIT 18:47 1 0/2 0/2 1/2 1 5 6 2   1 1   2 1 3
8 KORKMAZ, CAN 13:33 4 1/1 0/1 2/2       2   1     2 1 3
11 ARAR, EGE 10:31 6 3/3     1   1     1     1   5
12 ERDENIZ, CANER 3:47           1 1 1         2    
22 OLMAZ, AYBERK 7:18     0/2         1         1   -2
26 MOORE, BEN 18:21 8 3/3 0/1 2/2 2 1 3 3 1 3     5 1 7
30 AUGUSTE, ZACH 25:19 13 5/8   3/5 3 3 6   2 2 1   4 5 16
61 KOKSAL, GOKSENIN 21:56 9 0/1 3/4     1 1 1 1       3   7
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 83 18/38 11/28 14/18 15 21 36 20 6 13 2 1 30 20 82
        47.4% 39.3% 77.8%

Head Coaches

Unicaja Malaga
"It was a very physical game, a tough game, but I think we knew how to play the game throughout the whole game. When we were able to make three-points shots, we were able to break the game open. The only problem we had was when we made some mistakes with the decisions we made, especially on offense. There were also intentional fouls that were called in some situations, but that was what made it a closer game. Of course, I am happy to get the win.
Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul
"It was a very special game. There are a lot of ups and downs and different types of stories in the game. When I looked at the stat sheet, we have to be much smarter than what we played tonight, especially in the second half. Eighteen out of 38, 47% from two, it’s not even one out of two so it should really be higher than this. Our three-point number, 28, is not acceptable for our team. But somehow Malaga’s defense gave us this number. I think a strange number on free throws. Our opponent attempted 32, 26 out of 32, most of you will agree with me that if you lose the game by 5 then this is important. I congratulate my players one by one. It’s not an easy game on the road against Malaga, who are the really strong team in our group. We have to analyze this game for the next games because we made very simple and sometimes silly mistakes and that’s why this game should be analyzed by us for sure. It’s a group game, thank god, and we lost the game by 5 because it could be like 20 points. If I’m not wrong, there was an 18-point difference. We came back and we showed character because it’s not easy to come back in this atmosphere. So, congratulations to our opponent and it was a really nice atmosphere being here."


Unicaja Malaga
"They're a tough team. We started off a little rough, but as long as we come away with the victory, I think everybody’s happy as long as we keep progressing. I still don't think we are 100% where he can be. We still have to keep working and not relax. "
Unicaja Malaga
"I was just coming back from injury, so I hadn’t played a lot and I just had so much energy and I wanted to get it out and get my rhythm back after the game and that’s it. For sure, it’s a big win against a good team. One of the top teams in our group and it’s a great win at home, so we keep our streak alive."
Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul
"We came to Malaga knowing it would be a tough game. They have a very good atmosphere and took advantage of that. I personally think we are the better team and we want to show that in Istanbul when we play the second game. Five points difference will be important for us as well, we will be aiming to beat it with our fans behind us.”
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