05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
1 Troy Caupain (DSK)
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Turkish sweep keeps Group J wide open heading into the last week

MIES (Switzerland) - BAXI Manresa had it all in their hands, with a Quarter-Finals ticket for Tofas Bursa included, but Darussafaka's 9-0 run to close the game out kept the green-and-black team from Turkey alive in the hunt for the elite eight in the Basketball Champions League.

Dani Perez made a three-pointer to set the score at 84-80 with just over two minutes remaining in Istanbul. That was just the final swing of the pendulum on Manresa's side, signaling the end of a massive comeback from a 16-point deficit.

If the Round of 16 ended then and there, the standings would've said Manresa 4-1, Darussafaka 2-3, and with Tofas Bursa owning the tiebreaker over their compatriots, their result against Nutribullet Treviso wouldn't have mattered because with two minutes remaining in Istanbul, the situation was clear, Tofas and Manresa are through to the Quarter-Finals.

But the tricky part with pendulums is that they always come back if you leave them time. Nathan Boothe had a three-pointer to cut Darussafaka's deficit to 83-84, then Dogus Ozdemiroglu finished off a possession with three offensive rebounds to give the hosts the lead heading into the final minute.

And in a game with 173 points, it was the defense that saw Darussafaka win. First, 38-year-old Sinan Guler blocked Sylvain Francisco's layup, then the BCL steals leader Dogus Ozdemiroglu forced another turnover by Manresa and the hosts preserved their lead from the free throw line.


"At the end, we had some unfortunate turnovers. But we fought, we showed character, we showed who we are," Joe Thomasson, who had 16 points for Manresa, said after the game.

"We arrived a little bit tired in the last minutes," his coach Pedro Martinez offered, pointing to energy waste in a 16-point comeback.

"This was a hell of a game against a very good team, and against a very good coach," Darussafaka's playcaller Selcuk Ernak said. "We beat Tofas, now we beat Manresa. Maybe it's not gonna be enough, but even if we don't qualify, I'm really proud of my players."


"We needed that one to keep our hopes alive," Isaiah Pineiro explained after scoring 20 points. "Credits to my teammates, they set some good screens, they got me open for some good shots, and my job was easy, just making it."

Final score, Darussafaka v BAXI Manresa 89-84. Good news for Darussafaka? They are still alive, tied with Manresa at 3-2. Bad news? They don't own the tiebreaker. Even worse news? They don't own the tiebreaker against Tofas Bursa, either. 

It could've been a perfect scenario for Darussafaka because Nutribullet Treviso had a late lead in the other game. But Tofas Bursa did a smart thing at around 21:45 local time, handing the ball over to Tyler Ennis.


The guard was unstoppable over the last minute of overtime, getting five straight points to give Tofas Bursa an 82-80 overtime win over Nutribullet Treviso, putting them top of the group at 4-1.

Calculators out: Darussafaka need a win on last Gameday to have a chance of reaching the Quarter-Finals draw on March 25. 

If Tofas Bursa defeat BAXI Manresa, then Darussafaka advance with their win at 4-2, while Manresa would be out at 3-3. 

If BAXI Manresa defeat Tofas Bursa, then Darussafaka need a miracle in a three-way tie at 4-2, because they are -19, compared to Manresa's +4 and Tofas' +15.

"We want to be in first position in our group," Yigit Arslan, Tofas Bursa sixth man, made sure the world knows there will be no calculations by Tofas on last gameday.

"I'm happy that we won this game because our group is tough. Even Treviso, they didn't have a chance to advance, but they are a good team, and they played every game good. We will prepare (for the game against Manresa) and do everything we can to qualify," Tofas Bursa head coach Ahmet Caki added.

Group J

10/12 games played

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 TOFA Tofas Bursa TOFA 5 4 1 80.0   413 355 58 82.6 71 9
2 MANR BAXI Manresa MANR 5 3 2 60.0   452 413 39 90.4 82.6 8
3 DSK Darüssafaka DSK 5 3 2 60.0   407 414 -7 81.4 82.8 8
4 TVB Nutribullet Treviso TVB 5 0 5 0   383 473 -90 76.6 94.6 5

Tuesday will have all the answers for this group. If Turkish teams can repeat the sweep, they will both fly to Mies for the Quarter-Finals draw on March 25. If not, only one of them will join Manresa on that flight.