Manresa use fourth quarter push to take Game of the Week over Limoges
LIMOGES (France) - Last season's runners-up BAXI Manresa welcomed Limoges CSP back to the Basketball Champions League by defeating them 76-73 to begin group play in the new season.
Turning point: Manresa were getting out-assisted 11-2 at halftime, but they still managed to only trail 38-35 after the first 20 minutes of play. The third quarter remained close with Limoges holding the lead throughout, as they couldn't open up a bigger lead, while Manresa on the other hand couldn't overtake the lead.
That changed in the fourth quarter when Manresa opened the quarter on an 11-1 run to grab a 62-55 lead. They never relinquished the lead for the rest of the game. Limoges pulled to within one point (71-70), but a three-pointer by Tyson Perez put them up four with 34 seconds left. Just when you thought that would be the dagger shot, Nicolas Lang responded with a three-pointer to bring Limoges back to within one point, but two free-throws by Giordano Bortolani finally sealed Manresa's win.
Game heroes: Last season's top scorer Jerrick Harding led Manresa in scoring with 16 points along with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals on 6-of-15 shooting from the field, while Bortolani, last season's Best Young Player, knocked down two clutch free throws at the end and finished with 13 points in only 15 minutes off the bench.
BCL recruiting at its finest: Last season's top scorer @JHarding_10 shines, Best Young Player Giordano #Bortolani secures the win - @BasquetManresa take the Game of the Week over @limogescsp! #BasketballCL pic.twitter.com/V2HICVbslI— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) October 4, 2022
Stats don't lie: In a game that was as close as this one, a lot of the key stats were fairly even, so it came down to putting the ball in the hoop. Manresa outscored Limoges by 6 points from beyond the arc and made an efficient 65.4 percent of their shots from two-point range.
Bottom line: Manresa begin the season 1-0 in Group F and the Spanish club will host VEF Riga in their next game on Tuesday October 11. Dating back to last season, Manresa have now won four consecutive games on the road in the BCL regular season.
In their return to the BCL for their second season in the competition, Limoges start the 2022-23 season 0-1 in the group and tonight, were led by Lang who finished with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-9 from three-point. The French club will host S.L. Benfica in their next game on Tuesday October 11.
"Very satisfied. We have a lot to work on, but the word for today is resiliency. The game is full of ups and downs, and we went through a lot of downs tonight. We stayed resilient and we fought, and we came out with a win. I'm happy. ... I just owe it all to my coaches and my teammates. They just instill that confidence in me, they kept my head up. I missed a lot of shots in the first half that I usually make, and they just kept giving me confidence. They told me to keep shooting and eventually, when the time came, the shots went in, and I didn't hesitate." - Jerrick Harding, BAXI Manresa
"Overall, I think it was a hard-fought game by both teams, but I'm proud of the guys in our locker room. I feel like I played pretty well. There's always some things I want to critique on myself. I think it's a step in the right direction, I want to continue to build on it." - Darrin Govens, Limoges CSP
"We played an excellent game. Honestly, I have nothing to regret. We make some mistakes, but I want to play like this. ... Tonight, I'll go home happy." - Massimo Cancellieri, head coach Limoges CSP