Bonzie Colson game-winner lifts Pinar Karsiyaka over Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Israel) - Bonzie Colson picked up right where he left off from his MVP season last year. Colson's game-winning three gave Pinar Karsiyaka a thrilling 86-84 win over Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem.
Despite the raucous crowd in Jerusalem in the game of the day, Karsiyaka was able to hang in and when the opportunity presented itself, Colson delivered for his team.
Turning point: There were various moments when the game looked like it would swing in both team's direction.
Jerusalem went up 78-76 after a steal and three-pointer by Kaiser Gates, then an Amit Gershon three extended the lead to 81-76 with 1:17 left in the game.
Karsiyaka was down 83-79 until a ferocious put-back dunk by Colson gave the team life and cut the deficit to two (83-81).
The game was just about in Jerusalem's hands after an unsportsmanlike foul by Karsiyaka's Yunus Sonsirma with 21.6 seconds left gave Jerusalem two free throws and the ball.
Shortly after that with a two point Jerusalem lead, Kaiser Gates missed both free throws and Colson grabbed the rebound, took the ball down the floor and sunk the clutch, step-back three-pointer with 0.3 left.
Game hero: BCL is starting to stand for Bonzie Colson League with all the incredible shots he has made in the last couple seasons.
He has emerged as arguably the league's best player.
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Colson recorded a double-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists.
His teammate James Blackmon also had a solid game with 19 points (7-of-10 FG, 3-of-6 3P).
Anthony Bennett led the way for Jerusalem with 22 points (18 points in the first half) and 8 rebounds.
Stats don't lie: This game was just about as closely contested as you can get, with 25 lead changes and the biggest lead only being seven points in favor of Karsiyaka.
Jerusalem led the game for 18:22, while Karsiyaka led for 19:02.
Karsiyaka doubled Jerusalem's points in the paint (32 to 16), but Jerusalem shot the ball better, going 14-of-28 from three-point compared to 10-of-29 for Karsiyaka.
10 missed free throws by Jerusalem (20-of-30) didn't help their cause, however.
Both teams took care of the ball, as Jerusalem committed 12 turnovers and Karsiyaka only committed nine.
Bottom line: Karsiyaka has been the only away team to win so far.
It's only one game, but Karsiyaka (1-0) look like a team that can reach the championship game just like they did last year.
After finishing runner-up last season, Karsiyaka has the fire power to make another run this season.
Jerusalem (0-1) also has enough talent to advance out of what should be a very competitive Group B.