Lenovo Tenerife take down Hapoel U-NET Holon in first Semi-Final, reach third BCL Final
BILBAO (Spain) - Lenovo Tenerife have moved one step closer to capturing their second Basketball Champions League title after getting past Hapoel U-NET Holon 78-71 to reach Sunday's Championship game.
Tenerife have now reached the BCL Final for the third time, the most by any team in league history.
Turning point: Tenerife held a 42-33 lead at halftime and led by as many as 12 points in the first half. Holon got to within five points in the third quarter, but still trailed 51-59 heading to the fourth quarter.
Holon took their first lead of the game on a Rafael Menco three-pointer with 3:47 left in the final quarter, but Txus Vidorreta switched to his favorite one-two punch to close the game out.
Marcelinho Huertas first set Giorgi Shermadini up for two points, then scored three of his own to take the air out of the arena. Holon only scored two points over the last three and a half minutes, while Tenerife had 10 of them in the same span.
Game hero: Marcelinho Huertas came through and almost recorded a double-double with 17 points, 9 assists and 4 assists. Tenerife were +15 with him on the floor.
Huertas has now scored 10+ points in his last five games in the BCL, while he has also now combined for 14+ points and 7+ assists in nine different BCL games.
Stats don't lie: Tenerife outrebounded Holon 45-30 and 16-11 in offensive rebounds which led to 14 second chance points for Tenerife. After grabbing 7 rebounds tonight, Shermadini now has 267 total rebounds in the BCL which ranks 9th all-time.
Despite only making five three-pointers, Tenerife made 10 more shots from two-point range than Holon (24-14).
Bottom line: Joe Ragland did it all for Holon and finished with 22 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals on 9-of-12 shooting from the field but could not push Hapoel all the way to being the first Israeli team in the Final.
Tenerife reached it for the third time in six years of the competition. The Spanish club will be looking for their second title - after being crowned champions of the 2016-17 season - when they face the winner of the second Semi-Final between MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and BAXI Manresa.
The Final will be played on Sunday, May 8 at 20:00 CET.
Holon, meanwhile, will face the loser of that second Semi-Final, also on Sunday, May 8 at 17:00 CET.
They said: "I feel like it was a hard-fought game from both teams," said Ragland. "Credit to Tenerife. They really did the things they wanted to do, but we fought back and had a chance to win the game. Credit to our hard work, we had a chance to win, but it just didn't happen that way."
"I think in the beginning, we were in shock a little bit because maybe this is our first time in the Final Four in the BCL with this big stage and a lot of players have never been in this stage," said Holon head coach Guy Goodes. "It took us time to adjust to understand where we are and what we need to do. Overall, I'm really, really proud of our guys and our organization. We are building a culture, a winning culture."
"Very tough game. We knew what we were going to face," said Huertas. "I think we had the most part of the game under control except for a few minutes in the last quarter. They were able to move the ball well offensively and hit open shots. They hit three 3's in a row which allowed them to come back. ... We're very happy for our performance and we want more."
"We are happy because we controlled the game, the players made a very good gameplan," said Tenerife head coach Txus Vidoretta. "At the end, we had the answers for ... the key moments of the game. Now, we have to make the next step in less than 48 hours."