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Seven takeaways from Tuesday: Unicaja still perfect, Bears stun Dacka

MIES (Switzerland) - Five games were played on Tuesday, headlined by Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem overtaking MHP RIESEN in Ludwigsburg, getting within inches of a direct qualification to the Round of 16. Unicaja are still perfect, while Bakken Bears picked up their first win.

Here for you to help you through another busy day of the Basketball Champions League Season Seven are our Seven takeaways.

#1 The Bears win and lose

We warned you about the Bakken Bears, especially at home. The Danish perennial champions are always a tricky opponent in Denmark, where they just wait for you to relax one bit and then they have you in a struggle for 40 minutes.

Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem dodged a bullet there, winning with a last second dunk after Ryan Evans had put the Bears in front with just seconds left on the clock. You live, you learn. The Bears certainly did, and the lesson was - don't leave time on the clock next time.

Fast forward to their matchup with Darussafaka, and Darko Jukic was comfortable in taking his time, starting his drive from the left 45 behind the arc with just three seconds left, counting down the clock in his mind to go for the spin move and finish right as time expired.

A true buzzer beater, for the win, final score 68-66.

When you consider Jukic's clutchness, the fact that they allowed just six (yes, 6) points in the fourth quarter, and the general impression that they are really a solid team, it's a shame that this win will not be enough.

Even if they finish the Regular Season with another W, against Ludwigsburg, they don't have the tiebreaker over Darussafaka, meaning they are out of contention for the Play-In Series. They won the battle, but lost the war.

But this win will have its impact on the group, for sure. Darussafaka could've charged for first place, instead they are down at 2-3 now with a game left to play.

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 JLM Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 5 4 1 80.0   388 379 9 77.6 75.8 9
2 LUD MHP RIESEN 5 3 2 60.0   413 363 50 82.6 72.6 8
3 DSK Darüssafaka 5 2 3 40.0   360 356 4 72 71.2 7
4 BEARS Bakken Bears 5 1 4 20.0   343 406 -63 68.6 81.2 6
#2 Everybody won

With Bakken Bears winning the game, all 32 clubs have tasted victory in the Regular Season. Speaks volumes about the balance of this competition. Not only have all 32 teams picked up wins, but only one of them is still unbeaten.

#3 Unicaja dodge a bullet

That perfect 5-0 team is Unicaja! Coach Ibon Navarro knew how tough of an assignment would their road game at PAOK mateco be, especially after a big, relaxing, record breaking win in the Liga Endesa over the weekend that saw them count to 117 against Fuenlabrada.

Yannick Franke was torturing Unicaja's defense throughout the game, the Dutch shooting guard finished with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, becoming only the second player with such numbers in the BCL this season - the first one was TJ Shorts, of course.

But when push came to shove, Navarro handed the reigns over to Kendrick Perry. Which is just another testament to Unicaja's team chemistry and strength, because Perry was scoreless in 20 minutes in that 117-point performance over the weekend, and now he got the green light to go and win the game.

Perry's layup was for the lead, and it was his 19th point of the game, a BCL season-high for the guard. Jalen Riley had a pair of shots to try and win the game for PAOK, missed both of them, it finished 88-85, which not only kept Unicaja at 5-0, but also confirmed PAOK will not finish higher than third in this group.

#4 Home court advantage for JDA

So, Unicaja are confirmed at number one, PAOK and Dinamo BDS Sassari cannot finish higher than third, meaning JDA Bourgogne Dijon clinched second-place in this group, earning home court advantage in the Play-In Series.

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 UNI Unicaja * 5 5 0 100   431 362 69 86.2 72.4 10
2 JDA JDA Bourgogne Dijon 5 3 2 60.0   381 397 -16 76.2 79.4 8
3 PAOK PAOK mateco 5 1 4 20.0   380 385 -5 76 77 6
4 SASS Dinamo BDS Sassari 5 1 4 20.0   378 426 -48 75.6 85.2 6

They did it with a trademark David Holston game, defeating Sassari 85-72 on the road. What's a trademark David Holston game? Good question.

First, you need a set of hesitation moves. Then a number of assists that nobody else sees. And finally, a dagger three at the buzzer, shot clock, quarter clock, game clock, they all count. The 36-year-old finished with 21 points, five made three-pointers and also had 5 assists.

That was his ninth game with at least 20 points and 5 assists, nobody else has more in the entire BCL history. Also, he's now up to 701 points in his BCL career, still in sixth place on the all-time scoring list, but now just six points away from Kevin Punter in fifth.

Trademark Holston win. Trademark Dijon win, too.

#5 Dzikic and his happy place

It did not feel good for Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, with their slow start to the season. It especially did not feel good, when they saw MHP RIESEN destroying everything in their way, looking like a Final Four team once again, ready to storm away in first place in the group with ease.

But coach Aleksandar Dzikic just needed some time to get the team clicking. Now, with a game left to play, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem are in pole position, ready to win the group with a win over Darussafaka next week.

Jerusalem stormed to an 87-81 win over the German squad, flirting with covering the gap from the first matchup, which would've sent them to the Round of 16 already on Tuesday. It did not happen, but with Zach Hankins' 19 points and 7 rebounds, and four other players in double digits, Hapoel continued their fine run in Germany.

They are now 3-0 in the country, with wins over Brose Bamberg, Rasta Vechta and MHP RIESEN. Ludwigsburg is also coach Dzikic's happy place, way back in Season One, he had the iconic celebration while on Partizan's bench.

He wasn't as ecstatic this time around, but he must be proud of his season. Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem won nine of their last ten games in all competitions, the way they went for the overtake against MHP RIESEN on the penultimate lap would've made the F1 best overtakes list of the season, for sure.

#6 End of an ERA

We love a good numbers' story here at the BCL headquarters. However, having impressive numbers sometimes isn't enough to move forward.

ERA Nymburk grabbed 53 rebounds against Igokea m:tel, two short of BCL season-high held by UCAM Murcia. Marek Klassen had his third points-assists double-double with 14 and 10, only Chris Wright has more points-assists double-doubles in Regular Season history. And yet, ERA Nymburk are out.

Igokea m:tel won the game 73-69, meaning they are two wins clear of Nymburk. Bilbao were already there, which leaves Bahcesehir College as the only team that could be caught by the Czech champs. However, the Turkish club owns the tiebreaker, so we can play the pun and say it's the end of an ERA (Nymburk). 

#7 Five games, zero Round of 16 tickets

Usually, there are four games on Tuesdays and four on Wednesdays, but it got extra busy today with five games played. For these teams, they were games number five of the Regular Season, but even this late in the group stage, we still didn't get any new answers to the question who advances to the Round of 16 next.

MHP RIESEN and Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem both had a chance to do it, but couldn't. Lenovo Tenerife and Surne Bilbao could do it on Wednesday, if stars align their way, as explained here.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is a Basketball Champions League writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Power Rankings and his Takeaways on Gamedays. When he's not covering basketball, he's probably watching a Hajduk Split game somewhere.