Bilbao dominate Bahcesehir, punch ticket to Round of 16
ISTANBUL (Turkey) - Surne Bilbao made a statement with a massive 92-60 victory over Bahcesehir College to book their spot in the Round of 16 as the current leaders of Group D.
Bilbao have won all of their away games this season and this 32-point win was their largest of the season. On the contrary, this was Bahcesehir's biggest defeat of the season.
Turning point: Bilbao played a clean first half in which they only committed 4 turnovers and dished out 14 assists. A 15-6 run in the final few minutes of the second quarter led to Bilbao having a 42-32 lead at halftime.
Bilbao improved upon their lead and opened up the game thanks to doubling up Bahcesehir in the third quarter 28-14 for a 70-46 lead. They were able to grab as big of a lead as 34 points in the final quarter.
Game heroes: Bilbao's frontcourt trio of Jeff Withey (13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5-of-5 FG), Emir Sulejmanovic (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 6-of-7 FG) and Michale Kyser (11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4-of-5 FG) were the stars of the game, as the three combined to shoot 15-of-17 from the field as well as grab 18 rebounds.
Emir Sulejmanovic and Jeff Withey
Stats don't lie: Bilbao assisted on 26 of their 33 made field goals and their 26 assists are tied for the fourth-most by a team in the BCL this season. Before tonight's game, Bilbao were giving up the fewest assists per game (14 per game) and they continued that trend by limiting Bahcesehir to only 10.
Bilbao put the ball in the basket at a high percentage (56.9 percent), which is tied for the fourth highest field goal percentage by a team this season in the competition. Bahcesehir, meanwhile, struggled to find their shot and only connected on 17.2 percent of their three-pointers.
Bottom line: Bilbao improve to 4-1 in Group D and have clinched their spot in the Round of 16. The Spanish club will host ERA Nymburk in their final regular season game on Wednesday December 21.
Bahcesehir fall to 2-3 and remain in third place in the group. The Turkish club were led in defeat by Jerry Boutsiele who finished with 8 points, 9 rebounds (7 offensive) and 2 assists. This was his first game of the season scoring fewer than 10 points, but he is the only player to have grabbed at least 8 rebounds in each of the first five games this season in the BCL.
Bahcesehir will travel to face Igokea m:tel in their last regular season game on Wednesday December 21.
"I think that we played a very good game. We played well on offense, on defense. We controlled the situations that were important for the win. We found baskets in fast break, and we played well against their defense. - Jaume Ponsarnau, Head Coach Surne Bilbao
"Of course, we didn't expect this result and the way we played, but we trust coach, we trust each other. The season is long, and we have a crucial match next week against Igokea where we want to get second place which leads us to home court advantage in the playoff system for the next stage. Nothing is lost, but it's a good warning for us the way we shouldn't play." - Jaka Blazic, Bahcesehir College
"With our home court, we have to fight much more - defensive rebounds, 1-on-1, physical contact, tempo on offense. We have to improve. This is the first time we played with our full roster. We have to fight much more to win." - Erhan Ernak, Head Coach Bahcesehir College