20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
17 D. J. Kennedy (KSK)
Game Report
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Grit and grind Karsiyaka win Turkish derby - Play-Offs Week 1 Wednesday roundup

MIES (Switzerland) - Pinar Karsiyaka managed to grind out a victory over fellow Turkish side Tofas Bursa at home, while in the other game in Group I Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon eked out a win at Happy Casa Brindisi  and over in Group J  Lenovo Tenerfie defeated Igokea on the road.

Pinar Karsiyaka 78-70 Tofas Bursa -- Group I

Pinar Karsiyaka edged out Tofas Bursa 78-70 at home in the all-Turkish clash that raised the curtain on Group I and proved such a tight affair that neither team ever led by more than eight points.

Tofas started off more disciplined on offense and grabbed a 19-11 lead midway through the opening frame but Karsiyaka balanced proceedings in the second quarter as Amath M'Baye and Raymar Morgan scored 11 points each by halftime.

The two teams traded blows after the break but M'Baye knocked down Karsiyaka's first two triples of the night - after 12 straight misses from behind the arc - in quick succession and the hosts jumped ahead 68-61 with 4:41 left to the final buzzer.

The visitors reduced the deficit to 72-68 and 51 seconds from time Tarik Phillip drove to the basket looking to make it a 2-point game, but Tony Taylor masterfully drew the charge and M'Baye sealed the deal for Karsiyaka with a layup on the other end.

Karsiyaka endured a poor shooting night from downtown but made up for it by scoring 42 points in the paint. M'Baye was pivotal in the success of the Izmir team, as he finished with 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor.

Happy Casa Brindisi 85-87 Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon -- Group I

Veteran guard Guy Pnini hit a dagger triple 18 seconds from the final buzzer to gift Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon a hard-earned 87-85 road win over Happy Casa Brindisi in the game that drew the curtain on the opening week of the Play-Offs.

Holon lost the battle on the glass 42 to 24 but forced 21 Brindisi turnovers, off which they scored 21 easy points. Importantly, and despite dominating the boards, Brindisi scored only 11 second-chance points compared to their visitors' 8.

The Israeli team got off to a strong start and led by 11 points, 23-12, midway through the opening quarter but the Italian side quickly balanced proceedings.

As the night progressed, play got scrappier and trips to the free-throw line became more and more frequent on both ends, which proved crucial down the stretch.

With Brindisi leading 83-81 and just 1:18 remaining on the clock, Darius Thompson went to the line but missed both free-throws and with them the chance to stretch the home lead to four points.

Pnini took advantage by drilling the crucial three-pointer from the top of the key and Brindisi executed poorly on their last possession, so Thompson missed a contested shot and Holon secured the win.

Chris Johnson and CJ Harris finished with 17 points each for the winners, the former also collecting 8 rebounds, while game hero Pnini had 11 points. Raphael Gaspardo had 15 points and 5 boards for Brindisi in defeat.

Igokea 62-82 Lenovo Tenerife -- Group J

Lenovo Tenerife used a 10-0 run early in the final stanza to open up an unassailable gap and picked up an 82-62 win at Igokea, in what was the Group J premiere for both the 2017 champions and the BCL debutants.

The Spanish team rode the hot hand of Sasu Salin early on to claim their first double-digit lead, as the Finnish international poured in 12 first-half points and Tenerife turned a 15-14 deficit into a 36-21 lead on a Marcelinho Huertas triple right before the six-minute mark in the second quarter.

That 15-point gap all but evaporated by halftime though, as Igokea reduced the deficit to just three points, 37-34, in the final six minutes of the second frame.

Igokea kept it tight throughout the third quarter but a Giorgi Shermadini layup 9:22 from the final buzzer sparked Tenerife's decisive burst and Salin capped it off with a free-throw four minutes later, to stretch the visitors' lead to 70-54.

Salin paced Tenerife with 19 points, 2 assists and 2 board while Shermadini finished with 17 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. For Igokea, who were playing their first ever Play-Offs game in the competition, Nikola Jovanovic had 13 points and 4 rebounds in a losing effort.