Pinar Karsiyaka finish strong, hand ERA Nymburk another heartbreaking defeat
NIZHNY NOVGOROD (Russia) - Pinar Karsiyaka used all of their experience down the stretch to finish off ERA Nymburk in an 84-73 win. The Turkish powerhouse ended up on top in a game that saw 21 lead changes and a number of highlight poster dunks, Karsiyaka now move on to play Casademont Zaragoza in the Semi-Finals of the Final 8 in Nizhny Novgorod.
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Turning point: The Czech champs were spent the majority of the first half in front, but never had a lead bigger than 6 points. Keeping things close was the plan for Pinar Karsiyaka, they kept growing in confidence as the game went down to the wire and a number of big shots by Amath M'Baye and Sek Henry sent the game their way.
Hayden Dalton's runner gave Nymburk a 71-69 lead with 3:30 to go, but coach Ufuk Sarica's men responded with a 15-2 run to close the doors on this Quarter-Final and book a trip to the Final Four.
Stats don't lie: Karsiyaka held Nymburk to 7-of-20 shooting in the fourth quarter, while going 9-of-18 themselves and getting to the line 9 times, more than in the previous three quarters combined (7). Sometimes seeing the ball go through the hoop is what it all comes down to, and Pinar Karsiyaka's shot making in the clutch saved the day.
Game hero: Sek Henry had 5 three-pointers and 19 points, Amath M'Baye scored 20, but Raymar Morgan was in beast mode. The big guy in the middle finished with 18 points - his 13th straight BCL game in double figures - with 16 rebounds and 5 blocks also to his name. Honorable mention goes out to Metecan Birsen, 12 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for the Turkish forward.
Bottom line: Pinar Karsiyaka are among the last four standing and will have another clash of styles when they meet the free running Casademont Zaragoza. ERA Nymburk are out in the Quarter-Finals for the second straight season, another heart break for the Czech champs who had also lost Play-Off ties by a single point in both 2017 and 2018. Coach Oren Amiel will probably use all of this as motivation to finally reach the Semi-Finals in 2022.