Another week, another Karsiyaka drama; Galatasaray survive Igokea's comeback
MIES (Switzerland) - Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski were inches away from pulling off the upset of the week, but their 14-point lead went to waste in Turkey. Fans helped Pinar Karsiyaka out, carrying the team to a 2-0 record to start the new Basketball Champions League season.
The Polish champions had a 51-37 lead at the half. Whatever Ufuk Sarica told his men in the locker room worked, led by Semih Erden's backhand dunks, Pinar Karsiyaka won the third quarter by ten and set us up for more craziness in the last stanza. Teams were trading blows until the MVP decided to take over - again!
With the game tied at 72-all in the last two minutes, Bonzie Colson knocked down a stepback triple from the right corner, and Can Korkmaz followed it up with a heroic move of his own, getting the and-one layup to make it a 78-72 game with a minute remaining.
It wasn't over even then, Kobi Simmons' three-pointer cut the gap in half, and James Palmer Jr made it a one-point game from the line.
Pinar Karsiyaka kept their cool, Michael Roll hit clutch free throws, Kobi Simmons was called for an offensive foul at 80-77 and that stayed the final score, to send last season's finalists to 2-0, while dropping the Polish newcomers to 0-2.
Colson had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, Erden needed 17 minutes to get 17 points, Roll scored 14, Korkmaz was also in double digits with 10. Palmer Jr put up 21 points for Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski, Simmons added 20 to the mix.
DAP "had a lot of fun," scored 31
This is starting to look like the Turkish season in the BCL, because Galatasaray Nef got to 2-0 in a hurry, by preventing Igokea's comeback late in the game. The game came back to the basics, as Cim-Bom knocked down 21-of-23 shots from the free throw line, more than enough to keep a two-possession distance over the closing minute and escape Bosnia and Herzegovina with an 89-85 win.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell was vocal about not being included among the players to watch in our season preview, or about Galatasaray Nef not being among the title favorites, and while he's talking the talk, he's walking the walk, too.
DAP went off in Laktasi, putting up 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, and also added 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for good measure.
"I had definitely a lot of fun. I made a lot of shots, that's always good," Akoon-Purcell smiled after the game.
"What was most important was us staying together as a team and fighting. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds, and towards the end of the game, when they did get that lead, we stuck together and were fighting for rebounds, finishing possessions, were able to get good looks on offense. That's what helped us pull off the win at the end," he added.
Dee Bost was impressive with 14 of his 17 points coming in the first quarter, Melo Trimble scored 12, Kerry Blackshear Jr finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Coach Ekrem Memnun will be extremely happy with the fact that Galatasaray kept it under control throughout the 40 minutes, turning the ball over just nine times.
Antabia Waller scored 22 in 22 minutes for Igokea, but they drop to 1-1, tied with ERA Nymburk after two rounds. PAOK mateco are down to 0-2 in this group.
Jerusalem find themselves stuck at 0-2
Along with Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski and PAOK mateco, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem are another team that could've easily been at 2-0 after the first two games. Instead, they are down at 0-2 after a 73-68 defeat to BAXI Manresa - to make matters worse, both of Jerusalem's defeats came at home, in front of more than 5,000 fans.
It turned into a wild finish in Pais Arena, with clutch shots by Jalen Adams for the hosts and Elias Valtonen for the visitors. However, the final minute was completely out of control, both teams turning the ball over and missing free throws. It came down to one final Jerusalem possession with four seconds to play, but they couldn't inbound the ball on two tries, allowing Manresa to climb to 2-0.
Pedro Martinez only had one player in double digits, but it was enough. Sylvain Francisco had 23 points on a night when even 34 percent shooting was enough for the win. Jalen Adams finished with 24 for Jerusalem, they shot it 6-of-32 from deep. At home...
Group of death splitting in two
Over in Ukraine, Prometey got a taste of what MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg basketball is all about. The Ukrainian champs impressed during the Qualifying Rounds, made it all the way to the last second in their game against Lenovo Tenerife last week, but MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg came prepared and did their thing on Wendesday night, never letting the foot off the gas pedal.
It finished 86-64, with a 27-16 edge in points from turnovers, 10-4 in fast break points and 20-7 in second chance points, coach John Patrick's favorite departments of the boxscore.
Justin Simon won the reunion of four ex St. John's Red Storm players. Ludwigsburg's sixth man had 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jonah Radebaugh finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds, Jordan Hulls and Yorman Polas Bartolo had 13 each, Hulls with 7 assists, Polas Bartolo with 7 rebounds.
"I thought this was great. We stuck to the game plan, the preparation that we had throughout this week, we've been working on different things to prepare for this game, and we showed it tonight," Simon said.
The scary part? MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg could get even better.
"When you play a basketball game, it's never perfect. We had a couple of guys who played hurt, I'm very proud, even though they couldn't move the way they wanted to, they sacrificed themselves for the team," coach Patrick explained.
For Prometey, it was DJ Kennedy as the best of St. John's with 18 points, D'Angelo Harrison had 7 points, Sean Evans 4 in their reunion.
"It was special to me to play against DJ Kennedy, who played for us for two years. He had a great game today. He's very special, one of the best players who ever played in a Ludwigsburg jersey," coach Patrick praised his former player.
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Prometey drop to 0-2, while Ludwigsburg are up to 2-0, same record as Lenovo Tenerife after two games. The Island Derby went the host's way, again - in the third matchup between Tenerife and Banco di Sardegna Sassari in the Basketball Champions League history, the home team ended up on top, final score 87-60. Tenerife already had a 30-point win at home v Sassari, the Italians won their part of the rivalry by 20 in Sassari last season.
Second quarter was crucial, as Txus Vidorreta's men held Sassari to 6 points in those ten minutes, while scoring 23 at the other end. Julian Gamble led the scoring with 18 points and had 9 rebounds, Fran Guerra scored 17 in 18 minutes off the bench for Tenerife, meaning the Aurinegras dominated inside throughout 40 minutes.
Jason Burnell scored 16 for Sassari who face an uphill battle down at 0-2.