surinenglish

Home win for Unicaja secures clash against Real Madrid in Copa del Rey first round

Shermadini slam dunks. :: SUR
Shermadini slam dunks. :: SUR
  • The 2005 winners will face firm favourites Real Madrid in the first round

It came down to the final game of the first half of the season. Unicaja's home tie against Gran Canaria on Sunday was a must-win as they sought qualification for the Copa del Rey.

Finishing eighth, as Unicaja would have done had they lost, was not an option. Though normally enough to qualify, it is a prerequisite for the tournament's hosts, in this case ninth-placed Gran Canaria, to participate.

The game was an incredibly close affair throughout, with all four quarters being hard fought. Ultimately, the win came because of the brilliance of two players.

Nedovic was essential to Unicaja's distribution, and although he wasn't always playing at his best, he managed to rack up 10 assists and 11 points for his team. Shermadini was an unstoppable force up front, despite his difficult pairing with Balvin. He scored 23 points over the course of the match.

The home side ultimately ran out 94-87 winners and secured their spot in this year's cup competition which runs from 15 to 18 February.

The 2005 winners will face firm favourites Real Madrid in the first round.