MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg down Hapoel U-NET Holon to claim third place
BILBAO (Spain) - MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg ended on a high note and finished in third place in the Basketball Champions League Season Six, the team's best finish in the competition after defeating Hapoel U-NET Holon 88-68.
Ludwigsburg previously lost two games to Holon in the Round of 16.
Turning point: Ludwigsburg jumped out to a 27-19 lead after the first quarter, with Justin Simon scoring 16 of those 27 points.
Ludwigsburg continued their momentum and extended their lead to 13 points at halftime. Things only got tougher for Holon, as Ludwigsburg led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter and led 69-48 heading into the final quarter. It was more of the same in the fourth, as Ludwigsburg stretched their lead to as many as 28 points, Holon's biggest deficit of the season.
Game hero: Simon was a man on a mission tonight, making a statement that he thought that he deserved to be named to one of the BCL All-Star lineups. The 26-year-old finished with a season-high 27 points along with 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals on 12-of-24 shooting from the field.
Simon's 27 points are currently the most by a player in a Final Four game in BCL history and he is also the first player in BCL history to combine for more than 25 points, more than 5 rebounds, more than 5 assists and more than 2 steals in a game.
Stats don't lie: Ludwigsburg forced Holon into 20 turnovers and outscored them 28-7 in points from turnovers. Ludwigsburg shot roughly 52 percent from the field and knocked down 14 three-pointers, while Holon only connected on six shots from beyond the arc.
Bottom line: Ludwigsburg have secured third place for the 2021-22 BCL season, their highest-ever finish in the competition after finishing in fourth place in 2017-18.
The German club have now won their last eight BCL games in which they have scored 40 or more points in the first half, with seven of those games coming this season.
Holon will settle for fourth place and were led by Tyrus McGee with 14 points and 3 rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, while Joe Ragland made history, finishing with the most assists in a BCL season with 143.
Third place MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg with their bronze medals
Fourth place finisher Hapoel U-NET Holon
They said: "We came here, I think we gave it our all since we've been here," said McGee. "Tenerife and Ludwigsburg are two tough teams. Obviously, we played Ludwigsburg three times this year. We kind of had an idea of what they were gonna bring in today's game."
"One of the toughest games to play is third and fourth places," said Holon head coach Guy Goodes. "Not everybody can play this game and Ludwigsburg was more energetic, more focused, playing their style of their game and we were kind of like two, three steps behind and they deserve to win this game."
"It was a great atmosphere," said Simon. "I think we found our identity tonight. We got back to playing our brand of basketball, forced a lot of turnovers and caused havoc. We wanted to make sure we get Holon back and we did just that and I think we stayed on them early and often."
"I'm really proud the way we bounced back and also after losing two in the second round to Holon that we were finally able to beat them," said Ludwigsburg head coach John Patrick. "Maybe that gave us the mental edge since we lost the first two games against Holon. I'm just really proud that we showed the character after a frustrating, (especially offensively) game on Friday against Manresa. It's great to go out of this Champions League season with a win."