05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
16 Haris Bratanovic (OOST)
to read

Outstanding Oostende obtain overtime objective; Harding's handles highlight homecoming

MIES (Switzerland) - There are close games, and then there are Basketball Champions League games this season. On a wild four-game night, the biggest winning margin was just five points, and one of the games went to overtime.

Filou Oostende had their backs up against the wall with two close defeats in first two games, and a trip to Kalev/Cramo's home arena this week. However, diamonds are made under extreme pressure, something that coach Dario Gjergja and his players know all too well from their ten straight domestic titles, and that winning mentality carried the Belgian champs from -14 to overtime.

And to victory, after 45 minutes of work. It finished 87-85.

"It was just us staying together as a team through the ups and downs," Phil Booth said. "They were making a lot of shots, they really shot it well, us standing together and keep fighting really helped us today."

Booth played the role of a hero. That Villanova Wildcats mentality just carries over to professional careers, the two-time NCAA champion Booth did not make a single three-pointer and only had two field goals until the closing minute of the overtime.

It did not matter, with 3.3 seconds left to play in OT, the point guard took matters into his own hands, broke a couple of ankles, stayed calm and knocked down the game winning triple to get Filou Oostende to 1-2 and avoid that abyss called "0-3 record in BCL."

"I came off the screen, and I saw him move, he kinda slipped. It was a wide open shot, I took it and it went down for me. It was big getting that stop on (Silas) Melson on the other side, because he was making about almost everything tonight," Booth added, repeating the phrase momentum win a couple of times.

He finished with 8 points on the night. Levi Randolph had 10, including the triple that forced overtime, but it was Dusan Djordjevic who led the scoring with 16 points and also had 6 assists. Not bad for a 38-year-old.

"Professor Doctor of basketball," coach Gjergja described his running mate, the only remaining player who won all ten Belgian League titles alongside Gjergja.

Silas Melson scored 21 off the bench for Kalev/Cramo, but the Estonian champions drop to 1-2.

Pako Cruz leaves a bruise on SIG

With Filou Oostende winning in Estonia, SIG Strasbourg had a set point to climb to 3-0 and send everybody else to 1-2 after the first part of the Regular Season. But Tofas Bursa hit them with a return winner down the baseline, erasing the set point and getting a break point instead, with a 76-74 win on the road.

Pako Cruz was unstoppable with 23 points and 5 assists, creating for himself and others, Elgin Cook dunked his way to 15 points, Tomislav Zubcic had 13 for coach Hakan Demir.

Yannis Morin put up 14 points for SIG Strasbourg, Matt Mitchell added 13 to the mix, and John Roberson knocked down three triples for 12 points on the night. The final possession came into the hands of Tony Crocker. SIG ran a quick isolation play for him, but the defense did not bite on his dribbles, and Crocker turned the ball over at the buzzer...

Tofas and Strasbourg are 2-1, Oostende and Kalev/Cramo are 1-2, but both the Belgian and Estonian champs have two of their final three games at home.

Six straight for Nymburk

ERA Nymburk made it a habit of going on endless winning runs, and another one started with Jerrick Harding hitting the game-winning shot against PAOK two weeks ago. Combined with the Czech League, Nymburk got up to six straight with an 86-82 win over Igokea, they are 11-1 in all competitions since the season started. And it had a lot to do with Harding, again.

The Weber State all-time leading scorer counted to 29 in ERA Nymburk's first home game of the season, torturing Igokea's defense with his handles, athleticism and outside shooting.

He went 11-of-22 from the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the charity stripe, and Czech champs were +13 with him on the floor. Considering the game ended +4, that's a big number in the +/- department.

Nymburk are up to 2-1, same record as Galatasaray Nef. Igokea dropped to 1-2 after winning their first game of the season, they are now tied with PAOK mateco in that group.

Statement win for BAXI Manresa

In our Power Rankings this week, we put BAXI Manresa at number 11, requesting a statement win to send them upwards next time around. Message was delivered, Manresa replied with a 72-67 win over Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey - the largest win of the day!

Luke Maye flirted with a double-double by posting 14 points and 9 rebounds, Chima Moneke and Joe Thomasson combined for 20 points, and Elias Valtonen deserves a mention, not just for his 7 points, but also because Manresa were +14 with him on the floor.

Akil Mitchell had 18 and 9 for Karsiyaka, Amath M'Baye scored 14, Michael Roll 12, while Bonzie Colson was held to 8 points and 10 rebounds. Manresa are 3-0 with wins on the road in Israel and Turkey, Karsiyaka drop to 2-1 after the first half of the group stage.

The other two teams from Group B, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (0-2) and Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski (0-2) are playing on Wednesday.