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Unicaja wave goodbye to the Top 16 with loss in Zagreb

Suárez finds his path blocked by two Cedevita players.
Suárez finds his path blocked by two Cedevita players. / Marin Susic
  • The Malaga outfit have set up a clash with German side Bayern Munich in a 'best-of-three' quarterfinal

Unicaja's final game of the Top 16 ended in defeat after they lost 74-71 to Cedevita in Zagreb. The Croatian side, who rested American stars James and Boatright, showed more desire from the start and went 10-5 up within the first five minutes of the first quarter.

The quintet of Lafayette, Smith, Díez, Suárez and Omic failed to match their Croatian counterparts' intensity, with Lafayette managing just seven minutes before he was hauled off by a disgruntled Joan Plaza.

Nevertheless, Unicaja fought their way back before the end of the first quarter, with Omic playing a huge hand in ensuring a one-point lead for the visitors heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter saw 17-year-old Musa and Arapovic cause the Unicaja defence all sorts of problems, scoring several points, but Musli kept the Malaga outfit in the hunt with his shooting as the quarter ended 42-41 to the home side.

The third quarter is where Unicaja lost the game, as they crumbled in defence and conceded 10 points without reply within the first five minutes. They shot from too far out and without any accuracy. Plaza demanded his team to get closer to the basket, and it paid dividends as they managed to cut the deficit after baskets from Nedovic and Fogg. Unicaja finally showed urgency and with two minutes to go they trailed by just three points. However, Marko Tomas' basket delivered the final blow to Unicaja and ensured victory for the hosts.

The Malaga outfit will now face German side Bayern Munich in a best of three quarter-final.

Unicaja will face their German counterparts twice in Munich, with the first encounter taking place on 28 February.

Joan Plaza's side will therefore have to improve their away record in Europe, having won only two matches away from Malaga, the second of which came this season against Alba Berlin.

The two sides met in the first round of this year's tournament, with Bayern Munich emerging victorious from both encounters.

Bayern took the first match 74-62 in late October before a 72-69 win in south Germany a little over a month later.