04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
10 Collin Malcolm (BONN)
Game Report
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Bonn silence Unicaja fans, celebrate ticket to first-ever Final

MALAGA (Spain) - The Martin Carpena arena was packed to the rafters, creating an unreal, festive atmosphere with hopes of pushing home crowd favorites Unicaja to the Final. However, TJ Shorts and Telekom Baskets Bonn had other ideas.

The second Semi-Final  finished 69-67, getting coach Tuomas Iisalo and his men the big opportunity to finally win the club's first ever major trophy, making this the first BCL Final without a Spanish team since 2018, when AEK took on AS Monaco.

Kendrick Perry had a chance to make it five straight years with a Spanish Liga Endesa team in the Final, but his three-pointer did not drop as the game clock counted down to zero.

Turning point:
 The two teams traded blows in the first half, but it seemed Telekom Baskets Bonn switched to a higher gear in the second quarter. They did it the Bonn way, as 'mentality monsters', not giving up on any plays.

One of those was a long rebound that was falling out of bounds in front of Unicaja's bench. Many others would've given up on a play, but not Tyson Ward. He saved the ball, served up an assist for a Sebastian Herrera three, pointing Bonn towards a double digit advantage at the halftime break.

Malaga were trying to catch up the rest of the way, got within one at 57-58 with six minutes to play, getting their 10,000-strong fan base up on their feet, but Collin Malcolm's four straight points silenced that run.

There was another one coming, after getting a Bonn turnover with 19 seconds left and then with TJ Shorts missing both of his free throws. But, down two, Kendrick Perry went for the win, took a pull up three that bounced off the rim and time expired.

Game hero: While Collin Malcolm, Javontae Hawkins and Finn Delany all played their part, there was always going to be one man to send Bonn to the championship game. TJ Shorts eclipsed his season averages, finishing with 21 points and 7 assists to pick up the MVP of the game honors.

Stats don't lie: Unicaja shot just 7-of-34 from beyond the arc, their worst three-point shooting game of the season. Another big factor were the turnovers, not because of their number because teams were tied there (13-13), but because Bonn managed to run away with a +8 advantage in points off turnovers.

Bottom line: No history repeating this time around. We had a Spanish battle in the Final in Bilbao a year ago, but this time around, the two Spanish teams will battle in the Third Place Game, as Unicaja take on Lenovo Tenerife az 17:00 CET on Sunday.

Three hours later, Telekom Baskets Bonn and Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem will give us either the first German or the first Israeli winner of the Basketball Champions League.

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