|12 March 2012|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Alejandro Abrines celebrating Spain's gold medal at the U18 European Championship last summer|
18-year-old Alejandro Abrines scored 31 points in Sunday's encounter between Unicaja Malaga and Estudiantes, the highest tally by a Spanish player of any age in Liga Endesa this season.
The best offensive performance by a national player thus far had been the 28 points of Rudy Fernandez, in Real Madrid's game against Blancos de Rueda Valladolid, during his brief spell with the Spanish capital giants at the start of the season.
Ricky Rubio was the previous holder of the record for most points in a single league game by a player unded the age of 19, with 25.
The 31 points by the MVP of the 2011 U18 European Championship also constitute the highest individual contribution Unicaja have seen from any of their players in the last two years, since Omar Cook (now at AJ Milano) scored 35 against Granada in January 2010.
Abrines was 12 of 20 from the floor on Sunday, including six of 12 from behind the arc.
The scoring explosion did not, however, lead to a victory for Unicaja as they lost for the eighth consecutive time in the Liga Endesa.
"You don't score 31 points every day but I'm not happy with the team," Abrines said.
"The results are not good and we must change them.
"I understand the fans are angry because the team is not responding but we are going to continue to work to try to lift this up."
Unicaja had a good start to the season but the losing streak, including Sunday's setback to second-bottom Estu has left Chus Matteo's squad in seventh place.
Abrines had joined a very select list in the ACB just eight days before, when he stayed on the floor for over 26 minutes in Unicaja's defeat at CAI Zaragoza, something that only Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Ricky Rubio had achieved at such a young age.