04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
9 Alberto Diaz (UNI)
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Seven takeaways from Wednesday: Statement wins by Unicaja, Darussafaka

MIES (Switzerland) - The only road team to win this week - MHP RIESEN, doing it in one of the hottest arenas in all of Europe, silencing Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem's crowd. Unicaja, Darussafaka and PAOK mateco won at home.

Here to help you out with everything that happened are our Seven takeaways. Seven, because we are in Season Seven, and because seven of eight games were won by the hosts, too. 

#1 Darussafaka's O-O tandem

Darussafaka were on cruise control against the Bakken Bears, defeating them 80-66 in a game that was close in the first half, but then became a 19-point encounter after the break. Bakken Bears head coach Anders Sommer probably went "Oh-oh" all the time, because Darussafaka got carried by two O-named players.

First one is Gabe Olaseni. Him dominating the stats is no surprise, he was the most efficient player of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017, done while playing his games with Great Britain in Istanbul, the same city he calls home with Darussafaka nowadays.

Olaseni was close to getting BCL's third-ever triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists, and Darussafaka were a +19 team in his 32 minutes of work.

However, the unsung hero is the club legend Dogus Ozdemiroglu. He was all over the place with 9 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and his specialty, 3 steals on the night. It certainly felt like there were more, because his timing is impeccable, not only getting the steals but also turning them into easy buckets, assists or unsportsmanlike fouls.

Dogus is special. The O-O tandem looks impressive, now that they are 1-1, they get to chase that first spot in the group the rest of the way. Bakken, meanwhile, dropped to 0-2.

#2 Best timeout of the season

PAOK mateco were at home, facing Dinamo BDS Sassari, and being down 39-30 with 2:48 left to play in the first half, coach Aris Lykogiannis called for time. What happened next was one of the best team-talks of this young season.

"Right now, you are playing very selfish. Right now, all of you think about is the offense. I'm not saying that every choice you made was wrong, because you are shooting open (shots), but we are not effective and, what is most important, we don't play defense at all. (...) You don't go inside, you don't go for the contact - but most important, you don't play defense, guys. You don't play defense, we ain't got a chance. I'm not gonna coach, I'm gonna sit over there because there is no point. You don't wanna win today. No, no, no... You will not. Because you aren't playing with a small team, I told you 20 times. We were up, we had the momentum. Right now, 2:48 left. Try to bring back the game."

That was at 30-39 from their point of view. Over the next 22:48 of the game, Lykogiannis' boys allowed just 29 points. Only 25 in the second half. Safe to say, message was received.

PAOK won the game 88-68. Jalen Riley had 19 points, four other guys were in double figures for the Greek side which is now standing at 1-1 and probably regretting that opening week defeat to JDA Bourgogne Dijon at home. They could've been 2-0, easily.

#3 One positive for Sassari

Since reaching the SuperCup Final in Italy and losing it narrowly to Virtus Bologna, Sassari had a rocky start to the season, losing four of their five games in the BCL and the Italian League.

If there's one positive from this game, it's the fact that 22-year-old Ousmane Diop showed he can play at this level. He played four BCL games in his career so far, getting a total of four points. Against PAOK, he had 15 points in 14 minutes of work. Maybe he provides the spark to wake Sassari up from this early season slump.

#4 MHP RIESEN different, but same

Jerusalem will always be a tough team at home, with that sea of red in the stands, big coaching names and individuals who can go off for 20+ points on any given night. It's their identity.

However, MHP RIESEN developed their own identity over the years. We already highlighted their smooth, effortless transition from coach John Patrick to coach Joshua King, but this is getting out of hand, because with six games in, they look like an improved team compared to last season.

They defeated Heidelberg, Bakken Bears, Braunschweig, Hamburg and Jerusalem, with four of those wins on the road, and their only defeat so far was against Rostock in a high scoring, high pace game in the easyCredit BBL.

Pace is what Ludwigsburg will be all about this season, it seems. Look at this play, haven't seen four guys in black and yellow run this fast since Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt got the 4x100m world record at the 2012 Olympics.

MHP RIESEN won the game 80-71 in Israel, seven guys scored between 8 and 14 points on the night, taking the German Giants to 2-0 in Group E. Sole possession of the number one spot after ahead of the November double-header with Darussafaka.

#5 Jerusalem made one three

There is no way to spice this up or spin it into something other than it is. Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem made only ONE three-pointer in the game against MHP RIESEN, setting the second worst mark in the history of the Basketball Champions League. They shot it 1-of-24, Speedy Smith was the only man who scored from beyond the arc.

The only team that shot it worse than Jerusalem was CSM CSU Oradea, playing against Pinar Karsiyaka, missing all ten of their attempts from beyond the arc back in December 2016. Filou Oostende also had a game with one made triple, against BAXI Manresa in November 2019.

#6 Unicaja loves seeing Dijon

With the way they assembled their team, it was clear that Unicaja were out to do some damage this season. After their 2-0 start, crowned with an 88-68 win over JDA Bourgogne Dijon, it is clear that coach Ibon Navarro has a monster of a team in his hands, and knows exactly what to do with it.

All 12 players played, ten of them scored, and one of the guys who went scoreless was actually more influential than you could imagine because his name is Alberto Diaz, and his game is stopping the best scorer on the other side of the floor.

Have you ever seen anybody steal the ball from David Holston like that!? Unreal stuff from the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 winner...

Dijon have been the sweetheart team of the BCL for years now, but the team from Malaga loves it when they come to town. Unicaja had eight wins in the BCL so far. Out of those eight, three were by 20 or more. Out of those three, two were against JDA Bourgogne Dijon.

#7 Holston climbing the ladder

Speaking of Holston, he had only one assist on the day. However, that one was enough to get him away from Tamir Blatt and into the third spot all-time in assists in the BCL, dishing 307 of them, compared to Dusan Djordjevic's 362 and Marcelinho Huertas 367.

Holston is also closing in on the top spot in steals, he needs just two more to overtake Jeremy Leloup, and he's also in the top three in three-pointers made. A legend of this League, as numbers confirm it.