05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
4 Mehmet Yagmur (BESIK)
Game Report
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Shorthanded Besiktas stun Hapoel U-NET Holon, gain home court advantage

HOLON (Israel) - Despite only having nine available players in uniform, Besiktas Icrypex were able to pull out a wild back-and-forth game over Hapoel U-NET Holon, 73-72, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the Play-In series.

Besiktas were missing some key players including Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Trevon Bluiett and Josh Reaves.

Before this win, Besiktas had lost eight of their last 10 away games in the Basketball Champions League and they had not yet won a play-in/playoff game in the competition.

This was the fourth time that Besiktas won a BCL game by a one-point margin, as only AEK (5) have won more BCL games by the narrowest difference.

Turning point: Holon hadn't scored in the second quarter until there was 4:21 left, but Besiktas were only able to score 6 points in that time.

Holon then closed the quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 35-28 lead heading into the third.

Just when it looked like Holon had momentum going to the second half, Besiktas came out hot and outscored Holon 24-17 in the third quarter, tying up the game going to the fourth.

The final couple minutes of the fourth quarter were a frenzy:

Isaiah Whitehead hits a three to cut Besiktas' deficit to 66-64, Whitehead hits another three to give Besiktas a 67-66 lead, Adam Smith hits a three to give Holon the 69-67 lead, Kenan Sipahi hits a three to give Besiktas the 70-69 lead, Ercan Osmani hits 1-of-2 free-throws to extend Besiktas' lead to 71-69, Guy Pnini hits a three to put Holon back on top 72-71 with 9.5 seconds left, and finally, Whitehead hits a game-winning layup to give Besiktas a 73-72 lead with 1.8 seconds left.

Game hero: Whitehead was clutch all night and led the way for Besiktas with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, while shooting 7-of-15 from the field and 3-of-7 from three-point.


Stats don't lie: Despite Holon having a 15-12 advantage in offensive rebounds, Besiktas still scored more second chance points (18-15).

Holon had 19 assists compared to 11 for Besiktas and Joe Ragland dished out six for Holon.

Both teams struggled from three-point, but Besiktas used their 28 points in the paint to their advantage.

Bottom line: Rafael Menco led the way for Holon, as he recorded his first double-double in the BCL with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a game-high efficiency rating of 24, while shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point.

It was also the first time that he grabbed 5+ rebounds in any of his seven appearances in the BCL.

Besiktas took care of business on the road, as they have grabbed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Play-In series.

Now with their backs against the wall, Holon will look to keep their season alive when they travel to Istanbul for Game 2 on January 12.


They said: "We just knew we needed a bucket and a stop," said Besiktas' Whitehead. "Coach drew up a play, I executed, then we came down, got a defensive stop. That's how we win games. Next man up mentality, everybody stepped up. ... We're looking forward to it [playing at home]. We got a couple games before that, but we're looking forward to it."

"When we needed stops, I think we got the initial stop, but didn't get the rebound," said Holon's Smith. "They got some crucial offensive rebounds and they hit some threes. ... Just one more stop here or there. ... Credit to them, they're a tough team, but they came in here and won. They played well, so we gotta do the same thing in Turkey."