Last March seems far away, doesn’t it? It probably feels like yesterday to fans of Real Madrid and Unicaja Malaga, though, for that’s when the two teams clashed in ACB play last season to produce one of the craziest, most dramatic endings in Liga Endesa history – and had commentator Oscar Cuesta going viral with his awesome histrionics. BallinEurope’s man in Italy, Enrico Cellini, remembered the past while checking out yesterday’s rematch.
“¡Dentro! ¡Dentro! … ¡Dime que no estoy soñando!”
“Tell me I’m not dreaming!” cried Oscar Cuesta, commenting on one of the most epic epilogues in basketball history. In the ACB game between Unicaja Malaga and Real Madrid of last season, Terrell McIntyre’s buzzer-beater gave Malaga an incredible win and provided the Spanish commentator with his 15 minutes of worldwide fame (if anything, as an exemplar of heart failure). Don’t know what we’re talking about? Check out the viral video below. Already seen it? It’s always worth a second look…
Yesterday, a fully renovated Real Madrid went back to Malaga and showed great authority from the opening tip. The new faces on the floor were decisive for Los Blancos: Rudy Fernandez and Jaycee Carroll scored 18 points apiece while Sergio Rodriguez, on the bench in the final minutes of the 2010-11 game, dished seven assists. On the other hand, Malaga parted ways in the summer with “hombre del partido” McIntyre – he’s now at Virtus Bologna – and the other hero of those 47 seconds, Jorge Garbajosa, only managed to produce four points. Real dominated and got the win they missed in March.
Despite some remarkable plays, the game could not compare with last season’s breathtaking grand finale, and we’ll probably have to wait a decades before something comparable happens again. Or we might as well not be as lucky again. As Oscar Cuesta said on Twitter before the start of yesterday’s game, “Ciertas cosas solo suceden una vez en la vida. Simplemente disfrutemos.” (“Some things only happen once in a lifetime. Let’s just enjoy it.”)
Enrico Cellini is lifelong basketball fanatic and a long-time sportswriter with a focus on Italy and Spain. He was born among European hoops, raised watching the NBA, and thinks choosing between American and European basketball is like choosing between one’s mother and father. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Italian-language blog Hoop Addicted.