04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
24 Braian Angola (KSK)
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Seven takeaways from Tuesday: Angola gets first 40-point game in four years

MIES (Switzerland) - The 2023 part of the season began on Tuesday with four Play-In games all over the continent. The day was marked by strong individual performances, with Braian Angola, Miro Bilan and Jhonathan Dunn entering the history books.

We've got all the big stories of the day right here for you, in our usual Seven Takeaways. Seven, since this is season seven, and seven, since it's considered a perfect number. 

 #1 Braian Angola enters history books

Pinar Karsiyaka had a horrible day as a team in Spain, suffering a 97-92 defeat to UCAM Murcia. In fact, this defeat would've been much worse, but Braian Angola decided to keep Karsiyaka in it until the closing seconds of the game.

Angola had 18 points at the half, 30 by the end of the third quarter, and 41 by the end of the game. He shot the ball efficiently, 13-of-18 from the field, 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, 9-of-10 from the charity stripe, with 3 steals also to his name.

All to no avail - even after his gigantic dunk that made it a one-point game, Angola had one tough three-point attempt that did not fall, while Errick McCollum could not convert all three of his free throws, and then missed another contested shot to try and force overtime, and the game was over.

Angola became the first man with 40 or more in a BCL game in nearly four years. Here's a list of all the previous 40-point games in BCL history.

  • Keifer Sykes still holds the all-time record with 43 points scored. He played for Sidigas Avellino, and got his performance on the road in Bandirma, Turkey, facing Banvit in January 2019.
  • Jimmy Baron had 42 points for Neptunas Klaipeda against another Turkish team, Muratbey Usak Sportif, at home in Lithuania back in December 2016.
  • Martin Zeno scored 42 for CSM CSU Oradea against Kataja Basket at home in Romania in January 2017.
  • Rion Brown scored 40 for Kataja Basket on the road in Israel against Maccabi Rand Media, also in December 2016. In fact, it was on the same day when Baron scored 42 in Lithuania.

Angola gets another chance at a record next week. Pinar Karsiyaka will host UCAM Murcia back home in Turkey, trying to force Game 3 in this best-of-three Play-In Series.

#2 Murcia loving the rivalry with Karsiyaka

Braian Angola's heroics did not matter because UCAM Murcia and coach Sito Alonso knew the way to fight Pinar Karsiyaka. Just get inside the arc, try to own the painted area in every way possible.

That's exactly what the Spaniards did on Tuesday. They shot 24-of-37 (65 percent) from the two-point area, they won the paint points 48-36, and they won the rebounding battle 40-32. The ironic part is that Pinar Karsiyaka looked their best when they didn't try to match Murcia's height inside, but went with a small-ball lineup with Mindaugas Kuzminskas at four and Vitto Brown at five.

Game 2 will provide even more of these battles, but for UCAM Murcia, it will be another chance to dominate this rivalry. They won both legs in the Quarter-Finals back in 2018, they won the first one now, and could become the second straight Spanish team to eliminate Pinar Karsiyaka in the Play-In Series.

The first one to do it? Lenovo Tenerife, last season. And we know how their season ended...

#3 Rytas Vilnius and the Greek clubs

As much as UCAM Murica love playing against Pinar Karsiyaka, Rytas Vilnius are just as happy to see any Greek team on the other side of the floor.

The Lithuanian champions defeated PAOK mateco 85-62 in front of a capacity crowd in Vilnius. They trailed PAOK for only 22 seconds of this game, and opened up a 29-point lead at one point, flirting with their biggest win in BCL history.

It did not happen, +23 against PAOK ended up as their second largest win. The largest one was against Peristeri bwin, +25 back in November of this season, in a game that propelled Marcus Foster to MVP talks.

He was leading the charge in this one, too, with 14 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Four other guys were in double figures for coach Giedrius Zibenas, earning a chance to finish things off in two games against PAOK.

#4 PAOK rebounding issues

Playing against Rytas on the road is a painful experience because they are so much more aggressive offensively at home, powered by their fans from the stands. For PAOK, the key would be winning the rebounding battle, or at least holding Rytas Vilnius to less than 17 offensive rebounds in their arena - something that no other team managed to do this season.

Well, PAOK made it happen, Rytas finished with 13 offensive rebounds. The problem is that up until the 4:00 mark in the third quarter, Rytas had more offensive rebounds (12) than PAOK total rebounds (13).

By the end of the game, PAOK finished with 14 defensive rebounds. It was the lowest number by any team in the BCL this season.

#5 Holston's world

Sure, Markis McDuffie's 27 points are important, and he really was unstoppable in JDA Bourgogne Dijon's 89-80 win over Peristeri bwin. But it was just another day of milestones for David Holston.

The point guard collected 15 points and 12 assists, and he is now one of four players with multiple double-doubles with at least 12 points and 12 assists. He's also up to sixth spot on the all-time scoring list with 719 points, and he's up to second in three-pointers made with 139, trailing only Sasu Salin who's got 165.

One day, David Holston will retire. We'll keep posting his crossovers, stepbacks and assists to keep the memory alive of one of the greatest point guards in all of Europe, ever. Just out of habit, because we've been doing it week in, week out since he first entered this competition.

#6 Miro Bilan, our new all-time leader

Holston is ten points away from the fifth spot on the all-time scoring list, and the guy in front of him was the guy playing against him on Tuesday. Miro Bilan is up to 729 points in his BCL career, and he is the only player with 700+ points and 350+ rebounds in the seven years of this League.

Bilan's 18 points and 7 rebounds against Dijon meant that the Peristeri bwin center also became the all-time leader in the BCL. With 367 rebounds to his name, he's the all-time leader in that category in the BCL.

He can't relax yet, Tim Abromaitis is just behind him, ready to take the lead because he will have six Round of 16 games with Lenovo Tenerife coming up soon.

Maybe the rebounding battle pushes Bilan's motivation and sends Peristeri to Game 3 in this matchup and potentially to the Round of 16.

#7 Dunn's fun

In a night full of records, Jhonathan Dunn's big game must not go unnoticed. MHP RIESEN's sharp shooter had a solid start to the season, hitting 13 threes in his first six BCL games. That's just over two per game, at 34 percent efficiency.

However, Dunn took it up a notch in an 85-81 win over Limoges CSP. He counted to 29 points, hitting nine three-pointers in 12 attempts, flirting with an all-time record, too. Jimmy Baron and Steven Gray are the only two players with double digit makes in threes in BCL, both had 10 shots made from beyond the arc in a single BCL game.

The best part about Dunn's game was that he hit the shots when they mattered most. Back-to-back three-pointers with two minutes left in the game killed the drama, Ludwigsburg are up 1-0 in the matchup before heading west for Game 2 in France.