Defensive juggernaut Tenerife also likes to score and other things we learned from Round of 16 Gameday 1
MIES (Switzerland) - Did you know that Iberostar Tenerife, one of the few clubs to have appeared in the Basketball Champions League Play-Offs in all four editions of the competition, registered on Tuesday their best postseason offensive display or that AEK set a new BCL Play-Offs record on Wednesday?
Here's a closer look at some interesting facts and figures from Gameday 1 in the Round of 16:
Shermadini + Huertas = scoring record
Tenerife are renowned for their defense and completed the Regular Season as the top-ranked defensive team in absolute numbers and second-ranked in defensive rating. But on Tuesday, Tenerife wrote a new page in club history thanks to their offensive performance, thanks in great part to center Giorgi Shermadini and point guard Marcelinho Huertas set new BCL records in the Spanish side's 85-75 win over Filou Oostende in Game 1 of the series.
Tenerife's 85 points are a new club record for most points scored in a single Play-Offs game, which is quite remarkable considering the Spanish team have played 15 postseason games in the competition.
Shermadini's 25 points on Tuesday meanwhile represent the highest scoring tally by a Tenerife player in competition history, including both the Regular Season and the Play-Offs. The Georgian center of course owes a large chunk of his scoring record to the passing prowess of Huertas, who posted his fourth double-double in points and assists on Tuesday (19 points and 10 assists).
The Brazilian international became the first Tenerife player to dish at least 10 assists in a BCL Play-Offs game. Huertas also became the first player since Dee Bost in March 2018, and only the fourth in competition history, to post at least 15 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in a Playoffs game.
Interestingly, Tenerife's 25 boards in Game 1 was their lowest rebound tally ever in a BCL game.
The Athens air space belongs to AEK
AEK had to dig deep to beat Telekom Baskets Bonn 92-85 on Wednesday and one of the most important factors that contributed to their success was winning the battle on the defensive glass.
The Athens side became the first team in BCL history to give up only one offensive rebound in a Play-Offs game. Bonn turned that single offensive board into a basket, so they scored 2 second-chance points, but AEK scored 11 points off their 14 offensive rebounds.
Another key factor to AEK's victory was of course Kendrick Ray's best performance since joining the Greek team in the offseason. The American guard poured in 27 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the floor, including 6 of 9 from behind the arc. This was Ray's second-best scoring display in the competition, right behind his 30-point showing against...AEK in the 2018 Round of 16, when he was playing for Nymburk.
Sardinia has the best rollercoaster rides
Game 1 in the series between Dinamo Sassari and San Pablo Burgos is certainly the most memorable clash so far in the Round of 16, and not only because Burgos were the only team to win on the road, or because it featured an incredible 21-point swing within less than eight minutes in the third quarter:
Sassari set a new record for most points off turnovers in a single BCL Play-Offs game, as they scored 30 such points off 21 Burgos turnovers.
The Spanish team meanwhile came very close to tying the record for most three-pointers made in a single BCL Play-Offs game. Burgos made 14 shots from behind the arc, falling one short of EWE Baskets Oldenburg's 15 triples in a postseason game against MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in 2018.
The main culprit for this extraordinary Burgos display from downtown was of course Vitor Benite, who went 7 of 10 from three-point range. The Brazilian international became the eighth player in competition history to score 30 or more points in a single game in the Play-offs.
Benite also became only the third player on a Spanish team to score at least 30 in a single game in any stage of the competition, after Robin Benzing who had 32 points for Casademont Zaragoza in their win at JDA Dijon in January and Sylven Landesberg, who scored 31 for Movistar Estudiantes in a clash with Banvit in November 2017.
The Turkish connection
Turk Telekom dealt the first blow in the all-Turkish series with Besiktas Sompo Sigorta by clinching an 89-78 win in Game 1, behind T.J. Campbell's BCL season-high 27 points and 8 assists. The Ankara side not only maintained homecourt advantage but also forced their Istanbul rivals to take a long hard look at what happens to their defense when they face fellow Turkish teams.
The Wednesday clash was the first time this season that Besiktas faced another team from Turkey, and it also marked the first road game in this season's BCL in which Besiktas gave up 89 or more points.
Besiktas's worst ever defensive display in the BCL Play-Offs had come against another Turkish team, in a 90-83 loss to Pinar Karsiyaka in March 2017, albeit that was at home.
If we take into consideration games in all competitions since coach Burak Biyiktay took the reins of the team last December, Besiktas had given up more than 89 points on the road only in their January clash with Anadolu Efes in Turkish BSL league action. They ended up outscoring their cross-town rivals 104-98 though, ending a 13-game Anadolu win streak.