Five things we learned this week - Gameday 13
MIES (Switzerland) - Did you know that Turkish delight tastes sweeter when served late, or which team has pulled off the biggest comeback win and which player set a new double-double related record this week?
Find out all that and more as we have an alternative look at some facts and stats from this week's action in the Basketball Champions League.
1. TURKISH DELIGHT
📺 @BJK_Basketbol held off Neptunas Klaipeda down the stretch and secured the Turkish club a berth in the #BasketballCL Play-Offs for the fourth consecutive season!— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) January 28, 2020
📊 https://t.co/QHzPj8Wgh8 pic.twitter.com/QaOaQrUeKk
It feels like a long time ago now, but in actual fact it was only a few weeks ago when Teksut Bandirma and Besiktas Sompo Sigorta were out of the top-four in their respective group standings and appeared to be falling behind in the Play-Offs race. Yet on Gameday 13, both Turkish teams secured a place in the postseason, with a week to spare.
For Bandirma, the inflection point was a big 96-84 win at AEK on Gameday 12. This week, they had their third game in a row hitting at least 12 three-pointers and clinched their third consecutive win, 89-84 at Anwil. By means of comparison, Bandirma had made 12 or more shots from behind the arc in just three of their previous 19 games in the competition.
Besiktas parted ways with coach Dusko Ivanovic, point guard Jordan Theodore and power forward James McAdoo in late December, but they made the right decision by handing the reins to Burak Bıyıktay. The new Besiktas head coach, a man who has served the club from various positions over the last two decades, turned to the remaining roster and found all the solutions he needed.
On Tuesday, Shaquille McKissic collected his first double-double of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds as a Besiktas player while Toddrick Gotcher came up with his best performance of the season, which earned him Team of the Week honors, to extend the Istanbul side's winning streak to four games with a 76-69 win over Neptunas at home.
Not by coincidence, Besiktas became in this crucial game the first ever team in BCL history to have three different players collecting at least 10 rebounds each.
2. IT AIN'T OVER TILL OOSTENDE SINGS
If falling behind by 18 points in the third quarter gravely diminishes your chances of winning, doing so when you play a Spanish team, as it happened to Filou Oostende when they trailed BAXI Manresa 58-40 with five minutes left in the third on Tuesday, should be the equivalent of a death sentence.
Belgian international Jean-Marc Mwema is an excellent connoisseur of the sheer might of Spanish hoops through his experience with the national team, Oostende since 2016 and Telenet Antwerp Giants in the early years of his career, but on Tuesday night he decided his team could go against all odds.
The Belgian forward dropped a season-high 20 points, added 8 rebounds and 4 steals for a season-high efficiency rating of 27, and he found the perfect partner in crime in Braian Angola. The Colombian, who is playing his first season in Europe, added 20 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds and together they powered Oostende to an 85-72 win.
The 31-point swing in the space of 15 minutes is the largest we have seen this season in the BCL, while Oostende have matched the feat of another Spanish side, Iberostar Tenerife, as the only team to come back from an 18-point third-quarter deficit. Tenerife had pulled that on Gameday 6, when they came back to beat VEF Riga 68-64.
3. THE TALENTED MR. SAKIC
👀 @BCLietkabelis' Zeljko Sakic has become the first player in the #BasketballCL this season to have registered double-doubles in both points & rebounds and points & assists (11 points & 10 assists on Tuesday night)! 👏 pic.twitter.com/TDhTqsSE51— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) January 26, 2020
There are no Croatian teams taking part in this season's BCL, but Zeljiko Sakic keeps making sure the country still gets regular mentions in the league.
The 31-year-old Lietkabelis forward had already become last week the first player this season to post double-doubles in both points and assists and in points and rebounds. On Wednesday he went one step further, by becoming the first-ever player in the history of the competition to register double-doubles in different stat categories in back-to-back games.
After collecting 11 points and 10 assists in the Lithuanian team's win over Torun on Gameday 12, Sakic had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the crucial Wednesday success over SIG Strasbourg.
The veteran Croatian is the ninth-leading scorer and the tenth-leading rebounder in the league through the first 13 games, and the driving force behind Lietkabelis's push for the Play-Offs. The Lithuanian team have now won six games in this season, already one more than in their previous campaign, in 2018-19.
4. IN GROUP C, YOU GO BIG
Great win yesterday in front of our fans 🙏🏼. We’re still on top in the BCL!— Gabriel Ifeanyi Lundberg (@IffeLundberg) January 29, 2020
Huge S/O to @basketballcl for their gesture in honoring, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and those involved in the horrible accident, with 1 minutes silence in the Champions League games this round pic.twitter.com/ePvNJYlV8C
Iberostar Tenerife scored 33 points off turnovers in their 92-59 win over VEF Riga on Tuesday, setting a new league-high for points off turnovers in a single game this season.
Meanwhile ERA Nymburk defeated Mornar Bar 98-66, in what was not only the Czech champions' highest-scoring game on the road in the BCL, but also represented their largest winning margin ever in a road game in the competition.
Then on Wednesday, Nizhny Novgorod’s 25-point win over Gaziantep marked the Russian team's biggest winning margin at home in their history in the competition. Nizhny point guard Brandon Brown, who had 12 points and 12 assists in that game, became only the second player this season, alongside Chris Wright of Torun, to post a double-double in points and assists in two games.
5. A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Bandirma’s Emanuel Terry, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds in his team's win over Anwil and Oostende’s Shevon Thompson, who collected 16 points and 12 rebounds against Manresa, have become the first players this season to post six double-doubles.
TaShawn Thomas of Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem became on Wednesday the first player this season to collect at least 25 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in a BCL game. The Hapoel forward had 27 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks in his team's win over Burgos and earned a spot on Team of the Week.
Alexandre Chassang of JDA Dijon posted on Tuesday his first ever double-double in the BCL, after 26 games. The French big man had 20 points and 11 rebounds in Dijon's 83-72 loss at Telekom Baskets Bonn