05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
35 Patrick Richard (CLUJ)
Game Report
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Fairy-tale continues: Romanian champs win group ahead of Unicaja, Oostende

OOSTENDE (Belgium) - From the Qualifying Rounds to the Quarter-Finals, U-BT Cluj Napoca did not miss a beat all season long. Mihai Silvasan's men led from start to finish to defeat Filou Oostende 85-74 on the road and win Group K.

With Prometey withdrawing from competition, all their results in this group were nullified, meaning there could've been a three-way tie at 2-2 after this game. But the Romanian champions prevented it, picking up their third win in four games, good enough for first place ahead of 2-2 Unicaja and 1-3 Oostende.

The game was played in an incredible atmosphere, with the away fans enjoying the party at the end.

Turning point: Cluj started the game 12-2, opened up a 22-point lead in the first half, but then allowed a comeback by the hosts in the second half, setting up a dramatic finish in the fourth quarter.

Oostende made it back to 72-75 from their point of view behind Levi Randolph's late push, but Mihai Silvasan put the trust into his point guard.

Brandon Brown had a cold shooting game, but found three straight elite passes to feed Andrija Stipanovic and Stefan Bircevic (twice) and put the game out of Oostende's reach at 81-72 with two minutes left.


Game hero: Patrick Richard thought about quitting basketball three years ago due to ongoing injuries and lack of interest. But he decided to return Cluj's call and the rest is - as they say - history.

Over the last three years, Richard has become a club legend in Romania, and when the going got tough in Belgium, he understood the signal to take over, getting to his mid-range spots, feeding his teammates and crashing the boards.

In an all-round clinic, Richard finished with 17 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds - all team-highs for U-BT Cluj Napoca. The 32-year-old has been in double figures in all but two games this season, both of those against Unicaja, both times getting to 8 points.


Stats don't lie: Cluj started the game 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, but made only one of their next 12 attempts. Instead of winning on offense, they won this one on defense, forcing 19 Oostende turnovers, getting 10 steals, and ending up +10 in points from turnovers.

Bottom line: It was another heroic effort for Oostende in their packed arena, with Mikael Jantunen having his best game of the season, scoring 20 off the bench.


But only Levi Randolph (12pts) was helping him out offensively, not enough for Oostende to win the game and force a three-way tie at 2-2. Instead, their season ends here.

U-BT Cluj Napoca will move to the Quarter-Finals as the number one seed from this group, earning home court advantage in the best-of-three series. They will learn their opponent on Friday, after the Quarter-Finals draw.

They said:

"We won the first group stage, we won the second group stage, that says a lot about character of our guys. Especially because this decisive win was on the road. They put their heart and soul into it, they stayed mentally very strong." - U-BT Cluj Napoca head coach Mihai Silvasan

"We're going to regret those first 15 minutes of the game. Defensively we weren't at their level at all, and everything that was told in the preparation for the game - we couldn't do it. There was also one disadvantage for us, we played a game two days ago. We didn't move the ball enough." - Filou Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja