Ukrainian champions punch the last ticket to the Regular Season
SOFIA (Bulgaria) - BC Prometey were making the headlines with their recruiting over the summer, and it is starting to pay off already. The champions of Ukraine booked their place in the Regular Season with a close 67-65 win over Parma-Parimatch.
The game was probably too close for coach Ronen Ginzburg's liking, but when you bring in big names like DJ Stephens and D'Angelo Harrison, you're feeling comfortable about playing the close encounters all over the continent.
View this post on Instagram
Prometey opened up a 41-28 at the break behind Harrison's 12 first quarter points. But Kazys Maksvytis found a way around their tough defense, and his guys did their part disrupting the flow of Prometey's offense to get back in the game before the fourth quarter started.
In fact, Parma-Parimatch owned a 54-49 lead early in the last stanza. That's when Harrison started the charge, a pair of triples made it 57-57 with five to play, and a transition layup gave the lead back to Prometey, forcing a timeout out of Maksvytis.
All to no avail - once Parma stopped Harrison, DJ Stephens took over and sank back to back three-pointers, proving he is much more than just a highlight machine, pushing the lead to 67-59 and all but securing the win for Prometey.
Even when Parma had one last chance to make it interesting, it was Stephens coming up with a massive steal at 67-63 inside the final minute. Having the experience needed, the Ukrainian champs just drained the clock the rest of the way, starting their celebrations at halfcourt as soon as the buzzer sounded.
"We played against a really good team. We had a very good first half, but we got tired in the second, and we didn't manage to close the game earlier. At the end, it was our opponent who was tired. We showed character, and I'm very happy about it," Prometey head coach Ginzburg said.
"It was a very close game, but the bad start cost us the win. We had to spend a lot of energy to get back in the game, we managed to tie it, and Prometey were more successful at the end. Maybe we were tired, maybe it was the stress, but we didn't play the quality basketball we can play. Unfortunately, we aren't going to the Basketball Champions League," Parma-Parimatch head coach Maksvytis offered his thoughts.
View this post on Instagram
The one-two punch of Harrison and Stephens combined for 40 points, knocking down 9-of-18 three-pointers. In a low scoring affair like this one, those 40 felt like 80 for Prometey, and probably like 100 for Parma-Parimatch, who got 15 points from Evgeny Voronov.
Prometey are the second Ukrainian team to reach the group stage of the BCL, the first one being Khimik Yuzhne back in 2016-17. Ginzburg, Harrison, Stephens and the rest of the crew will be located in Regular Season Group A, alongside Dinamo Sassari, Lenovo Tenerife and MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg.
Ukrainian champs, BC Prometey, qualifies to regular season of BCL!— Oleksandr Proshuta (@alex_proshuta) September 18, 2021
Prometey wins hard game over Parma 67:65 w/20 pts by D'Angelo Harrison & some amazing playmaking by DJ Stephens
Prometey joins group with Tenerife, Sassari & Ludwigsburg
Some great bball finally arrives to UKR