BAXI Manresa get convincing win in Game 1 of Spanish derby Quarter-Final
MANRESA (Spain) - BAXI Manresa have jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the all-Spanish Quarter-Final matchup against Unicaja in the Basketball Champions League after defeating them handily, 86-63, in front of a raucous home crowd.
Turning point: The game was won in the first quarter, as Manresa purely dominated and outscored Unicaja 29-4, capping the quarter off with a shot by Sylvain Francisco.
The four points scored by Unicaja are tied for the fewest ever in the first 10 minutes of a BCL game. Unicaja were held to 0-of-18 (!!) shooting from the field in the first 10 minutes before finally making their first field goal with 6:05 left in the second quarter. At halftime, Manresa scored as many points from three-point range as Unicaja had total points (21). Manresa also had more points from the bench (22) than Unicaja's 21 total halftime points.
Game hero: Chima Moneke finished with a double-double for Manresa with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He has now grabbed 5+ rebounds in nine of his 12 BCL games.
Stats don't lie: Manresa knocked down six more threes than Unicaja (13-7), outscoring them by 18 points beyond the arc. They have made 13 or more threes in three of their last four BCL games, after doing it in only two of their previous 23 games in the competition.
Manresa have now dished out more than 20 assists in 10 different games this season, while no other team have done it more than six times in the BCL in 2021-22.
Bottom line: Jonathan Barreiro led Unicaja with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point. He made three of the team's seven total three-pointers.
Manresa have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Quarter-Final matchup after winning this Game 1 on their home court.
Unicaja will host Game 2 in Malaga on Tuesday April 12 at 20:30 where they will look to avoid elimination and stay alive to force a deciding Game 3.
Manresa have now won 11 of their 14 home games in the BCL, while Unicaja have now lost five of their last six away games in the competition. Four of those losses are by a margin of 10+ points.
They said: "It was ultra-important to win," said Manresa's Joe Thomasson. "I'm happy with the way we played. We took care of home-court advantage and we still gotta go there [Unicaja] to finish the job. Today was great. The effort and energy were through the roof. It was electric in the building today. It was a dream, honestly, playing in front of the crowd, playing in front of these fans. Put together a great gameplan, but the job isn't done yet."
"Good game for us, especially in the first half," said Manresa head coach Pedro Martinez. "We played with a great rhythm, great defense. We have to be focused on the next game, trying to understand that every game is different. We have to be ready for a tough game, and focused to try to win, but it will be very difficult."
"I think that I didn't do my job because my team didn't understand what we needed to do to be in the first 10 minutes to play here," said Unicaja head coach Ibon Navarro. "The game was over in the first 10 minutes when it's 29-4. Let's see if we learn from this. We need to understand what you need to do and what you have to be willing to do when you play against a team like BAXI Manresa."
Unicaja's Alberto Diaz didn't have much to comment on about the game in the postgame press conference, simply saying, "We cannot allow this beginning."