Tenerife, Dijon win tiebreakers to complete Athens Final 8 field
MIES (Switzerland) - Iberostar Tenerife and JDA Dijon emerged victorious from their respective Round of 16 Game 3 clashes on Wednesday night and clinched the two remaining tickets to the Final 8 in Athens.
Tenerife defeated Filou Oostende and Dijon prevailed over Nizhny Novgorod to join the six teams that had earned back in March the right to battle it out for the 2019-20 Basketball Champions League crown.
These two Round of 16 series were tied at 1-1 when the season was suspended due to the pandemic and their conclusion was the final, necessary step leading up to an historic Final 8 event that will crown the champion. Let's have a closer look at both Wednesday games:
JDA DIJON 75-67 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (Dijon win series 2-1)
Dijon managed to pull away from Niznhy in the final quarter and clinched a 75-67 win over the tenacious Russian side in the decisive third game of their Round of 16 series, earning the chance to fight for the 2019-20 title in Athens.
The hosts led for most of the night but didn't manage to gain a significant lead up until the fourth quarter, as Nizhny forced 20 turnovers and kept breathing down Dijon's neck.
Axel Julien converted a three-point play 4:42 from the final buzzer to give Dijon a 67-59 lead but Anton Astapkovich drilled back-to-back triples to cut the deficit to 67-65.
Nizhny were presented with two chances to either tie the scores or get ahead, right before the 2-minute mark, wasted both of them, and a David Holston floater 1:51 from the end gave Dijon a much-needed breath and sparked an 8-0 run that sealed the hosts' win.
Dijon made up for their turnovers by winning the battle on the glass, 41 to 27, and had a reliable offensive option all night long in Alexandre Chassang, who collected his 20 points on a nearly perfect 8 of 9 from the floor.
Holston also finished with 20 points, and added 6 assists, while Nizhny's Artem Komolov went 5 for 8 from beyond the arc and had a team-high 18 points in a losing effort.
IBEROSTAR TENERIFE 62-54 FILOU OOSTENDE (Tenerife win series 2-1)
On a night which saw both teams struggling to convert shots, Tenerife dominated the boards and scored second-chance points to claim a 62-54 win over Filou Oostende at home and punch their ticket to the Final 8.
The hosts outrebounded Oostende 44 to 31 and, crucially, 16 to 4 on the offensive end, which enabled them to score 19 second-chance points, compared with the Belgian team's 4.
Tenerife got off to a better start as Ooetende went 0 for 6 from three-point range early on, but the visitors quickly found solutions from close range and the scores were tied at 30 going into the halftime break.
Aaron Doornekamp hit back-to-back three-pointers, the second right before the 3-minute mark in the third quarter, to give Tenerife their first double-digit lead, 46-35.
A late Oostende effort reduced the deficit to seven points with just over a minute remaining to the final buzzer but, after Tyler Cavanaugh split two free-throws to make it 62-54 for the hosts, the visitors turned the ball over, missing out on their last chance to put pressure on Tenerife.
Marcelinho Huertas, who had 13 points, was the only Tenerife player to score in double digits and Giorgi Shermadini had a near double-double of 9 points and 10 boards.
Newly-arrived Thomas Welsh posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds for Oostende while Loic Schwartz added 12 points, 10 of which in the first half.