05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
1 Dee Bost (GALA)
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Galatasaray claim top of Group E, Jones comes up big for PAOK

MIES (Switzerland) - BAXI Manresa rose to 4-0 and completed the sweep over Pinar Karsiyaka, PAOK mateco rallied from -12 in the last quarter against ERA Nymburk, Galatasaray Nef showed how deep they are in a win over Igokea. Only three games were played on Tuesday, but each of them had a story line to remember.

A deep, deep Galatasaray team

Back on October 13, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell put on a show in Laktasi, BIH. Galatasaray Nef's MVP candidate tormented Igokea's defense all game long and collected a game-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting, with 5 rebounds and 4 steals to his name, too.

This time around, Igokea were prepared for DAP, but Ekrem Memnun showed that his team is much more than just a one-trick pony, with others stepping up throughout the game.

It was Melo Trimble in the first half, scoring 10 points before the break, including dribble drives that raised the temperature in the arena.

Then it was time for Okben Ulubay. The 25-year-old forward came into the game shooting just 3-of-11 from three-point range in all competitions in 2021-22, but then went 3-of-4 from deep across six minutes of the second quarter.

Despite big shots from Trimble and Ulubay, Galatasaray only managed to be tied at 34-all at the break. That's because Igokea used their biggest strength - their actual, physical strength. Getting to the painted area was a walk in the park for them, numerous dunks put the BIH side 24-10 up in paint points over the first two quarters.

Dalibor Ilic had 8 points and 9 rebounds in that time, not panicking in front of a raucous crowd in Istanbul. In fact, Igokea kept doing their thing after the break, too, going 6-of-7 from the painted are in the third stanza and keeping the lead all the way until the final minute of the third quarter.

That's when Dee Bost took over. The guard known for his defense was feeling it on the offensive end in the second half, his third three-pointer in Q3 gave Galata a one point lead heading into the fourth, and even when he was missing, the home team was faster on loose balls.

"The fans gave us more and more energy. When we got the fans behind us, pushing us, that gives us extra boost," Bost explained what made Galatasaray win the 50-50 battles.

It turned out that the answer for Igokea's physicality and size was going small - Memnun found gold with Sadik Kabaca at the power forward and Kerry Blackshear at center, the two of them combined for 8 offensive rebounds and there was no coming back for Igokea in the closing minutes.

It finished 82-74, completing the sweep for Galatasaray and sending them to 3-1, while keeping Igokea at one win over the first four Gamedays.


Dee Bost had 21 points, including the dagger running triple late in the game, and he also dished out 7 assists with 5 rebounds. Blackshear finished with 15, Akoon-Purcell had 14, Kabaca 11, Trimble 10. A serious and deep team, keeping the dream of European glory alive in Istanbul.

Markel Starks scored a team-high 17 for Igokea. They still won the paint points (40-24), but out of their 16 turnovers, 12 turned out to be Galatasaray steals, giving the hosts +5 in points from turnovers and +8 in fast break points.

Sensational block by Jones wins it for PAOK

In our MVP Race last week, Jerrick Harding was among the leading racers when it comes to winning the biggest individual trophy of the season. ERA Nymburk's lefty guard was up against PAOK mateco on Tuesday, with flashbacks to the first game still very much alive in everybody's minds.

It is because the former Weber State player knocked down a buzzer beating off balance shot as time expired to give Nymburk their first win of the season. That game winner fueled a nine-game winning streak in all competition for the Czech champs before the second matchup with PAOK.

But there wouldn't be a number ten. Coach Aris Lykogiannis prepared his team for Harding's trickery, and even though the guard put Nymburk up by one with 40 seconds to play, PAOK got the last laugh in front of a packed arena in Prague.

Jermaine Love scored the and-one layup to make it 73-71 PAOK with just over 25 seconds left. Coach Aleksander Sekulic drew up a play for Harding once more, with the ERA Nymburk bigs faking pin down screens on each side, freeing up the space in the middle for Harding to go to work 1v1.

He blew by his defender, looked like he's having a layup to tie it, but out of nowhere all seven feet of Marvin Jones appeared to block his shot. The refs initially called it goaltending, but upon review changed the call to clean block, plus a jump ball that went PAOK's way.

Love made two more free throws, Vojtech Hruban missed his corner three-pointer, PAOK escaped with a 75-71 win in Czech Republic. A double win, since they now own the tiebreaker over Nymburk in case of a potential tie at the end of Gameday 6.

It didn't look it could go that way before the final stanza. Nymburk had a 15-point lead, but PAOK won the last quarter 26-10.

"We were down 12 going to the fourth, but we knew how badly we needed this game. We just put it all on the line. I was able to play hard with four fouls because my teammates played even harder. It's a little relief (winning this game). We're gonna enjoy it tonight, but we still got a long way to go. We know that, our fans know that, shout-out to them, too," Malcolm Griffin said after posting 22 points for PAOK.

Jones finished with 18 and 2 of PAOK's 4 blocks on the night, Joshua Carter had three of PAOK's four three-pointers and 12 points, and Love scored 10 points despite the fact he only had a single field goal - the one to take the lead for good in the final minute!

"I am happy for my players, but most of all, I'm happy for this incredible crowd. For all those people who came either from Thessaloniki or other parts of Europe to support their team, so I'm really happy that we gave them joy with that victory," coach Lykogiannis offered.

Harding scored 17 for Nymburk coming off the bench. It was his first game scoring less than 20 this season.

Galatasaray will be the happiest with this outcome. They are now the lone leader of the group at 3-1, PAOK and Nymburk are tied at 2-2, Igokea are down at 1-3.

Brooms out, sweep completed

Pinar Karsiyaka suffered only three defeats since the start of the season - a single point loss to Anadolu Efes in the Turkish League, plus the clean sweep against BAXI Manresa in the Basketball Champions League.

The first encounter in Turkey saw the Spanish side escape with a 5-point win, but on Tuesday night, Pedro Martinez and his men made sure there was no drama late in the game, storming through in an 88-69 win.

With two wins over Pinar Karsiyaka, BAXI Manresa are up to 4-0 in the BCL, and a win by Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem over Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski would send Manresa straight to the Round of 16. Overall, Manresa have won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions!

Ismael Bako dunked his way to 20 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 8-of-8 from the field. Joe Thomasson had 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Sylvain Francisco knocked down three huge triples for 11 points on the night.

Amath M'Baye had a BCL career-high 28 points for Karsiyaka, but without suspended coach Ufuk Sarica, it was always going to be an uphill battle. Bonzie Colson has scored in double figures in all but two of his BCL games - both of those were against Manresa this season.