04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
0 Tj Shorts Ii (BONN), Celebration
Game Report
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Shorts, Bonn outlast Strasbourg in Game 3, reach maiden BCL Final Four

BONN (Germany) - SIG Strasbourg made the trip to Germany without their two MVP candidates in Marcus Keene and Matt Mitchell, but still put up a fight for 40 minutes. Telekom Baskets Bonn were simply too strong on the day, winning the deciding game 83-77 to win the series.

Bonn reached their first BCL Final Four and became the third German team to do so, after MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in 2018 and 2022, and Brose Bamberg in 2019.

Turning point:
The game saw nine lead changes through three quarters, and three more in the first 90 seconds of the fourth, but Bonn decided it had to end then and there. The recipe was to push the tempo against the eight-man rotation of Strasbourg, especially when fatigue kicked in.

A 13-2 opening to the last period put the game in Bonn's hands. Strasbourg attempted a couple of charges to try and get back into one- or two-possession deficits, but to no avail. Backed by 6,000 fans in the Telekom Dome, the hosts kept Strasbourg at bay to  win the Quarter-Finals series 2-1.


Game hero: TJ Shorts, again. With no Marcus Keene on the floor, Telekom Baskets Bonn's point guard was ready to take over, and he kept dominating on drives to the paint, despite seeing different coverage by Luca Banchi and his team.

SIG tried stopping him with size of Rodions Kurucs, wingspan and instincts of Paul Lacombe, strength of DeAndre Lansdowne, and Lucas Beaufort's aggressiveness, but Shorts solved all of those problems to finish with 24 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 12-of-13 from the line, with 6 assists also to his name.

Bonn were a +10 team in his 30 minutes on the court. Shorts now has 20+ points and 5+ assists in seven BCL games, the most by any player in a single season in League history.

Stats don't lie: Strasbourg wasted their chance in the first half, when they had 10 offensive rebounds and scored 46 points, but weren't able to get an advantage bigger than two points. Instead, Bonn stayed attached and then used their depth to advance.

Bench points said 32-14, points in the paint 40-26, proving Bonn had more energy on the day.

Bottom line: Telekom Baskets Bonn are playing a fabulous season with Tuomas Iisalo emerging as one of the Coach of the Year frontrunners, and TJ Shorts in the MVP conversation. They are still top of the league in Germany with just two defeats in 28 games, and reaching the BCL Final Four puts them one step closer to making this a campaign that sends Telekom Baskets Bonn from magenta to gold.

Meanwhile, SIG Strasbourg just had bad luck all season long. Matt Mitchell was the best player in the BCL to start the season, but suffered a long term injury before the Round of 16 even started. Marcus Keene then became their go-to guy, but another injury kept him out of Game 3, ending Strasbourg's season in the Quarter-Finals once more.

Reaching the Semi-Finals in Nizhny Novgorod in 2021 remains Strasbourg's biggest BCL success to date.

They said: