05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
10 Sasu Salin (TENE)
Game Report
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Road Game Salin strikes again, Tenerife win group, pull Strasbourg to Quarter-Finals

VILNIUS (Lithuania) - Sasu Salin has been on fire on the road all season long, and Rytas Vilnius learned all about it on Tuesday. The Finnish shooting guard led Lenovo Tenerife to a big win which seals the first place in group for the 2017 champions and also pulls SIG Strasbourg along to the Quarter-Finals.

Tenerife defeated Rytas 83-64, moving to 5-0 with a game remaining in this phase. SIG Strasbourg will finish second no matter what happens on last Gameday, because they own the tiebreaker over Rytas Vilnius in case of a 3-3 tie.

Turning point: The moment the plane took off from Spain. Sasu Salin knew he was about to have another big game on the road in the Basketball Champions League, and he already had five three-pointers made after the first half, leading Tenerife to a 52-26 lead.

There was no magical comeback in the second half, Lenovo Tenerife made the game a one-way street, opening up a 29-point lead early on in the third quarter to erase any hopes of the home fans.

Game hero: Sasu Salin had 23 points in 24 minutes of work, hitting 7-of-13 shots from beyond the arc. Salin has made the most three-pointers in the BCL this season with 45, and he'd be in second place if we counted only his seven road games.

Galatasaray Nef's Dee Bost scored 38 three-pointers, Road Game Salin has 33, JDA Dijon's David Holston 31.

Salin is now chasing the all-time record in three-pointers made in a single BCL season. That one belongs to Gabe York, who made 57 threes back in 2017-18.



Stats don't lie: Rytas' inside defense was non existent. Tenerife shot the ball 21-of-29 inside the arc, while the hosts made a total of 23 shots from inside and outside the three-point line. That was the biggest difference, because excluding Salin, Rytas did a decent job on other Tenerife shooters, allowing just 3-of-14 three-pointers.

Bottom line: Tenerife are back to their best, Marcelinho Huertas was orchestrating the offense again with 16 points and 6 assists in less than 20 minutes, Giorgi Shermadini and Kyle Wiltjer had 11 points and 4 rebounds each while also playing less than 20 minutes, and just like that coach Txus Vidorreta is another step closer to reaching the Final Four in his hometown Bilbao.


Rytas got 12 points from Tanner Leissner, but will regret losing that big lead in Strasbourg last week. If they held on to a bigger win, they would've had a chance to advance on last Gameday, but with a slim two-point win, they couldn't take the tiebreaker over the French side, meaning SIG Strasbourg will join Tenerife in the March 25 Quarter-Finals draw.

They said:

"We came here with the one objective to win, to be first in the group and make the last game against Strasbourg meaningless. We did the job, happy about the win today." - Sasu Salin, Lenovo Tenerife

"We started pretty well on both sides, especially on defense, we controlled very well the main scorers of Rytas Vilnius. The players made the plan perfectly in defense and since the beginning we've had great production from the three-point line with Sasu. We controlled the rhythm of the game, we played probably the best 20 minutes of BCL this year. During the second half we lost the control, but even then the difference was close to 30 points." - Lenovo Tenerife head coach Txus Vidorreta

"We came out and had a lack of focus. We had a lot of mental let-downs, we gave one of the best shooters in the (Basketball) Champions League open shots, we weren't tough to start the game and you can't get down to a team like that, that early especially. That set the tone. Once you get down versus them, it's really hard to come back." - Tanner Leissner, Rytas Vilnius

"Definitely a big disappointment for our team, for our fans. We can lose the game, but not like that. The attitude for the game which we showed in the very first quarter was very wrong. We missed leadership, we missed good faces, this is how we entered the court. The reasons why we lost the game before the game? We must search. We must look to the mirror. Everybody. Players and coaches. This time I disagree that it was a tactical loss, because to play without spark, without fire, without energy, it's very strange." - Rytas Vilnius head coach Giedrius Zibenas