BAXI Manresa, Tofas Bursa finish in top two spots of Group J, qualify for Quarter-Finals
MIES (Switzerland) - BAXI Manresa and Tofas Bursa will be the two teams advancing through to the Quarter-Finals of the Basketball Champions League from Group J, as they have finished No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.
Manresa won the group and Tofas finished second because Manresa defeated Tofas by six or more (85-70) and Darussafaka defeated Nutribullet Treviso in the other game from the group.
"We knew that BAXI Manresa has a good atmosphere in their home court," said Tofas head coach Ahmet Caki. "We knew that this group would be tough until the end. ... Today, we start bad. In the first quarter, we just scored nine points. ... We reacted in the second half, but at times we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds."
Manresa led by as many as 16 points, but Tofas trimmed their deficit down to three points in the third quarter. Manresa then went on a 10-0 run to extend their lead again, never letting Tofas get any closer than seven points for the rest of the game.
Manresa scored 41 bench points and Chima Moneke (14 points), Elias Valtonen (11 points) and Sylvain Francisco (10 points) combined for 35 of those points.
Yankuba Sima recorded his first double-double (14 points, 16 rebounds) in the BCL in 17 games. In only one of his previous 16 games has he scored at least 10 points. Only two other players have grabbed more rebounds in a single BCL game this season (Treviso's Aaron Jones 17 v AEK and Galatasaray's David Kravish 18 v JDA Dijon).
A big factor in the game was free throw shooting, as Manresa shot 25-of-31, while Tofas only went 12-of-17.
Manresa also grabbed 50 rebounds (21 offensive) and they became only the third team to grab more than 20 offensive rebounds in a BCL game this season.
"I think it was a key game for us to go into the next round with home-court advantage," said Sima. "I think we deserved it after the season that we're having. I think we were focused for 40 minutes."
Elgin Cook led Tofas in the loss with 23 points and 7 rebounds.
Both Manresa and Tofas will learn their next opponent on Friday after the Quarter-Finals draw.
Despite Darussafaka beating Treviso 85-81 and finishing 4-2 in the Round of 16, they won't qualify for the Quarter-Finals and their 2021-22 BCL season has come to an end.
Darussafaka needed either Tofas to beat Manresa or Manresa to beat Tofas by 35 or more which was a highly unlikely result.
"It's kind of unfortunate that we don't get to make it to the next round, but overall, I love what we did," said Troy Caupain. "The fight that we had, the things that we learned from when we first got here to now, there's nothing to hold our heads down about, but hey, onto the next one."
22-year-old center Ragip Atar had his highest scoring game of the BCL season, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and one poster alley-oop dunk:
Dogus Ozdemiroglu has now recorded 3+ steals in seven different games in the BCL this season. Only three players have had more such games in a single BCL season ever.