The Catalans have been placed in Group A along with Cajasiete Canarias, Casademont Zaragoza and Fundación Breogán. The team led by Josep Santasusana will play the three group stage matches at the Palau d'Esports de Tarragona on December 6 and 7. If they finish first, Manresa would already be classified for the final phase to be played in Malaga. Second place in the group would give them a place in the final to get a ticket to the final phase of the Minicopa.
The Bàsquet Manresa youth team debuted with a victory against Casademont Zaragoza (93-92). The Aragonese made a great start and closed the first quarter with a lead of 17 points (11-28), which they were able to extend to 21 in the second quarter. From there, Josep Santasusana's players reacted and reached halftime only nine points behind (32-41).
In the second half, Bages' team was within one point (49-50), but a 0-11 partial made Zaragoza open the gap again. It seemed that the Aragonese had control of the game, as they won by fifteen with just under six minutes to play (67-82) and by eight with just under two remaining (84-92). Immediately afterwards, the team from Manresa scored nine consecutive points and completed the comeback with a basket by Arnau Cortijo with seventeen seconds remaining. Specifically, Cortijo was the most outstanding player of the game, with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 36 efficiency credits.
In the second game, the children's team obtained a new victory, this time more forceful, against Fundación Breogán (61-82). The team led by Josep Santasusana started the duel better than its rival and obtained an advantage of thirteen points at the end of the first quarter (5-18). From there, Bages' team were able to easily maintain a comfortable lead for the rest of the match and added their second victory. Arnau Cortijo was once again the Manresa benchmark, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 25 rating credits.
Manresa will play the last game of the group stage against Cajasiete Canarias, on the same Thursday, December 7 at 16:15.
If Manresa were first classified, they would obtain a ticket to the final phase of the Minicopa Endesa 2024, which will be played in February in Malaga.
In the hypothetical case of finishing second classified in Group A, Bàsquet Manresa would play the final on Friday, December 8 at 10:00, against the second classified team in Group B, which includes Joventut Badalona, Gran Canaria, Fundación Bilbao and MoraBanc Andorra.
If the Catalans do not qualify in the first two places in the group, they will no longer have the opportunity to fight for the title.
The Manresa squad is made up of Kike Alocén, Eloi Pujol, Carles Méndez, Jan López, Marc Prada, Nil Serrat, Dídac Martínez, Neil López, Arnau Cortijo, Nical Casol, Marc Roca. The coaching staff is made up of coach Josep Santasusana, assistants Albert Bataller and Txell Gras, and physiotherapist Àlex Cuenca.