Besiktas, Peristeri, Turk Telekom win on the road - Gameday 1, Tuesday Roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - Turkey’s Besiktas Sompo Sigorta and Turk Telekom and Greek debutants Peristeri Winmasters all showed nerves of steal down the stretch of their 2019-20 Basketball Champions League openers to snatch great victories on the road.
Let’s have a closer look at the first eight games of the new season:
UNET Holon 79-82 Turk Telekom (Group A)
Two inspirational Nick Johnson plays down the stretch allowed Turk Telekom to overcome hosts UNET Holon in a thrilling finale and clinch an 82-79 win in Israel in the Group A premiere.
With the Turkish side trailing 77-76 and 55 seconds left on the clock, Johnson received a T.J. Campbell assist and drained a triple to give the visitors a 79-77 lead.
Johnson then came up with a steal on the defensive end and calmly sunk a jumper 17 seconds from the final buzzer, earning Turk Telekom a 4-point cushion.
Holon called a time-out and when play resumed the visitors committed an unsportsmanlike foul, allowing Malachi Richardson to reduce the deficit to 81-79 from the stripe, but Yogev Ohayon missed a tree-point attempt with 8 seconds remaining and T.J. Campbell drew a foul to write the final score from the line.
Campbell paced Turk Telekom with 15 points and 4 assists while Johnson, Moustapha Fall and Kyle Wiltjer all had 13 points, the latter also adding 9 rebounds in a near double-double effort. Holon’s Richardson meanwhile finished with a game-high 21 points and also had 6 boards.
SIG Strasbourg 77-64 Filou Oostende (Group A)
Strasbourg used a 12-2 burst late in the second quarter to get into the driver’s seat and never looked back again, as they secured a 77-64 win over Filou Oostende at home.
The Belgian side were leading 33-30 with 4:54 left to play in the second frame when Thomas Scrubb scored with a lay-up on a Damian Inglis assist to instigate the Strasbourg run.
The French team grabbed a 42-35 lead at the half-time break and extended the gap to as many as 17 points in the fourth, eliminating any thoughts of a late comeback by Oostende.
The hosts out-rebounded the Belgians 36 to 25 but ultimately the main cause of Oostende’s downfall was their inability to score from long range, as they hit only 3 of their 20 shots from behind the arc.
Jerai Grant had 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the floor to lead four Strasbourg players in double digits, while Inglis finished with 14 points and 7 boards. Shevon Thompson collected a near double-double of 16 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort.
RASTA Vechta 89-76 Anwil Wloclawek (Group B)
Trevis Simpson came up with a 30-point display and RASTA Vechta tightened the screws on defense in the final frame of their home clash with Anwil Wloclawek for the German side to celebrate an 89-76 victory in their maiden game in a European competition.
Tony Wroten put the Polish visitors ahead 64-62 at the start of the fourth frame but that would turn out to be the only bucket Anwil got in the first half of the final stanza.
Ishmail Wainright nailed a triple to spark an 8-0 min run for the hosts and right after Anwil finally ended the draught, Josh Young sunk another three-pointer and Kamari Murphy followed up with a dunk to stretch Vechta’s lead to 75-66, with 4:16 remaining to the final buzzer.
Anwil were dominant inside, out-rebounding their hosts 54 to 34 and scoring 50 of their points in the paint, to Vechta’s 24. The German outfit’s 42 percent shooting display (16 of 38) from behind the arc however ultimately made all the difference, as Anwil went only 5 of 28 from downtown.
Simpson, who collected his 30 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the floor, also added 5 rebounds to his performance while Steve Vasturia finished with 15 points, 8 assists and 6 boards. Anwil’s Chris Dowe had 18 points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort.
VEF Riga 80-74 Mornar Bar (Group C)
VEF Riga had the last word in a balanced game of runs that featured 15 lead changes and clinched an 80-74 win over Mornar Bar in the Latvian capital.
Both teams endured a poor shooting night but the hosts came up with 18 offensive boards and scored 20 extremely valuable second-chance points off them.
After Derek Needham tied the scores at 72-all with 47 seconds left on the clock, Lester Medford came up with an individual action to drive to the Montenegrin basket, score with a lay-up and draw the foul. The Riga guard converted the three-point play to put the home side ahead 75-72 with 32 ticks remaining and Mornar Bar called a time-out.
Coach Mihailo Pavicevic drew a play for Mllko Bjelica to take a relatively open three from the top of the key, but the veteran big man’s shot bounced out and on the ensuing possession Janis Blums drew a foul and gave the hosts a five-point cushion from the stripe with just 16 seconds to play.
Medford led all scorers with 21 points and added 7 rebounds and 5 assists for good measure, while Kristijan Krajina and Ron Curry finished with 13 points each, the former also taking down 7 boards. Bjelica and Jacob Pullen had 18 points apiece for Mornar Bar.
Gaziantep 64-70 Peristeri Winmasters (Group C)
Peristeri converted a nightmarish start to their maiden Baskeball Champions League campaign into a triumphant premiere night, after coming back from a 16-point deficit to celebrate a 70-64 victory over Gaziantep in Turkey.
The hosts came out guns blazing and jumped to a 20-4 start but the Greek side showed signs of life in the second frame and reduced the deficit to 6 points, 42-36, by the half-time break.
The guests finally claimed the lead in the third period and led by as many as 8 points early in the fourth but Gaziantep still had enough gas in the tank for one more charge and a Jamelle Hagins lay-up cut the deficit to 2 points, with 6 minutes remaining.
The crowd braced for a tight finale but the hosts appeared reluctant to finish what they had started off and both teams wasted successive possessions during the next three minutes, until Gaios Skordilis finally sunk a jumper with 2:58 remaining, to instigate a 6-0 mini run for Peristeri and effectively secure the win.
Steven Gray paced the winners with 15 points while Scoochie Smith contributed 13 points and 5 assists and Christos Saloustros added 11 points and 6 boards, both coming off the bench. Drew Crawford meanwhile finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds in a losing effort.
Iberostar Tenerife 81-67 Nizhny Novgorod (Group C)
The winners of the inaugural edition of the Basketball Champions League made an excellent start to their fourth consecutive campaign in the competition, as they led Nizhny Novgorod almost from the initial tip-off en route to an 81-67 win.
Tenerife built an early double-digit cushion, 24-14, but Nizhny started chipping away at the deficit with the start of the second quarter and Darrlyn Willis had the chance to tie the scores from the foul line 2:13 from the half-time but split his free-throws and Tenerife stayed ahead, 34-33.
The Russian side missed wasted a chain of opportunities to gain the lead while Tenerife appeared lost for ideas offensively, until the veteran Marcelinho Huertas hit a three-pointer to restore a 4-point cushion for the hosts before the break.
Having survived their worst stretch of the night, Tenerife came back from the locker rooms and quickly re-built their double-digit lead, keeping their visitors at arm’s length the rest of the way.
Giorgi Shermadini paced the Spanish 2017 champions with a near double-double of a game-high 24 points and 9 rebounds, and Huertas finished with 13 points, 6 assists and 4 boards. For Nizhny, Darrlyn Willis had 17 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort.
Neptunas used a second-quarter spurt to take control of proceedings on Tuesday and held off a late charge by Brindisi to celebrate an 81-71 win over the Italian visitors in their Group D opener.
The hosts started off slow and were trailing 31-27 with 6:06 left in the second frame, when Deividas Gailius instigated an 8-0 run that gave Neptunas the lead.
The Lithuanian side extended the gap to as many as 11 points after the break but Brindisi started chipping away in the final stanza and a spectacular Kelvin Martin dunk reduced the deficit to 2 points, 71-69, with just over three minutes remaining on the clock.
With Neptunas struggling to hit their free-throws, Brindisi kept sending the hosts to the charity stripe but the Italian strategy failed to produce any dividends since they missed all their shots down the stretch and Neptunas finished on a 10-2 run to seal the win.
Gailius led the way for Neptunas with a game-high 23 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for an efficiency rating of 26, while Zygimantas Janavicius chipped in with 13 points and 6 assists. Adrian Banks finished with 11 points for Brindisi in a losing effort.
PAOK 60-69 Besiktas Sompo Sigorta (Group D)
Besiktas outscored PAOK 14-0 in the final stretch of their Tuesday clash in Thessaloniki to celebrate a hard-earned 69-60 road victory in a highly entertaining Group D opener, that featured 16 lead changes.
The Turkish side was trailing 60-55 with 4:52 left to play when Jordan Theodore came up with a steal and passed the ball to Shaquielle McKissic who was fouled on his way to the basket.
He split his free-throws but that play was enough to inspire a chain of several more excellent defensive possessions for Besiktas and Theodore, after yet another steal by the visitors, pushed them ahead 61-60 with 3:38 left on the clock.
PAOK got some valuable contributions from their bench but Besiktas ultimately made the most of their marginally better shooting accuracy on the night - The Turkish side shot a decent 10 of 26 from three-point range, while the Greeks went only 7 of 31 from beyond the arc.
Toddrick Gotcher led all Besiktas scores with 19 points while James McAdoo collected a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards. JeQuan Lewis of PAOK also finished with 19 points.