Sunday 15 October 2017 is a day that will go down in local sporting history as the long-awaited Unicaja Femenino made their competitive debut in front of a packed Los Guindos pavillion.
The women's side, part of an iniative launched by the Fundación Bancaria Unicaja, was launched this summer and has seen the creation of youth teams at various levels (infantil, cadete and júnior) and a senior team that is competing in Primera Nacional, women's basketball's third tier.
On Sunday, the side managed by Lorena Aranda, made their league debut with a comfortable victory against Cadiz side Leyenda Camarón by 91 to 39.
The Unicaja players, practically all from Malaga province, joined from various clubs such as Gamarra, El Palo and EBG. They all showed great desire on their debut and their play was fast and based around a solid defence.
The first official basket was scored by Victoria Gómez-Cornejo, a player who stood out with her 13-point tally, alongside Inés Botella.
“We are very happy,” said coach Aranda after the game. “This was the first time this pavillion has filled up to see a women's game so there were a lot of nerves.”
“We are a new team,” she explained. “Many of the girls are from the area, study at Malaga university and are younger than 25.”
Despite the strong start, Aranda warns that it won't always be so easy: “Just because of the Unicaja name, everyone is going to up their game when they play against us.”
In attendance were Unicaja president, Eduardo García, who was accompanied by the general director of the bank's foundation, Sergio Corral, and the foundation's head of sport, leisure and environment, Paco Alonso.
Many former players were spotted in the stands, as well as men's coach Joan Plaza and player Viny Okouo.