Tenerife erase 11-point deficit; Jelinek shines for Murcia
MIES (Switzerland) - Lenovo Tenerife and UCAM Murcia knew they would finish one and two, respectively, in Group L no matter what happened in Week 6 of the Round of 16. Neither one missed a beat though, and both will arrive in fine form at the Quarter-Finals draw on Friday.
The reigning champions played host to Darussafaka Lassa, who were without their biggest stars Gabe Olaseni and Dogus Ozdemiroglu. But despite playing with a number of younger players, Dacka were the better teams in the first half, enjoying a lead as large as 11 points.
However, coach Txus Vidorreta did not allow his team to go down that easily in the last game of the Round of 16. A different looking Tenerife returned from the locker rooms and the crowd fell in love with Leandro Bolmaro's energy. The hosts closed in and then overtook Darussafaka in the fourth quarter.
The crucial play came in the final minute, when Darussafaka had a chance to tie or take the lead at 72-70, but instead, Giorgi Shermadini stepped up with a big steal, running the length of the court, and putting the exclamation mark on this one with a dunk.
Feels like home, huh @BolmaroLeandro? 🥱#BasketballCL I @CB1939Canarias pic.twitter.com/jomkgo21XC— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) March 21, 2023
Tenerife won 75-71, finishing at 5-1 in the group, while Darussafaka finished in third place, at 2-4. Bolmaro collected 15 points, and Tenerife were a +12 team with him on the floor. Shermadini finished with 13 points in 14 minutes of work, Marcelinho Huertas came off the bench for 11 points and 7 assists, Fran Guerra dunked his way to 10 on the night.
Matt Mooney scored 10 points for coach Selcuk Ernak's team, three other players stopped at 9 points, and ten of Dacka's 11 men scored in San Cristobal de La Laguna.
At arounds the same time in the north of Spain, the clash between Surne Bilbao and UCAM Murcia was so tight that it saw 11 lead changes and neither team proved able to open up a double-digit gap. In a game of runs, it was the visitors who emerged victorious, turning Bilbao's seven-point lead into a 71-67 Murcia win.
David Jelinek played his best BCL game ever, scoring 16 points on four threes and had a big triple in the final minute to make it a two-possession game. Nemanja Radovic was his usual self with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double, and also had 3 steals on the day.
𝐍𝐚𝐦𝐞: David Jelinek— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) March 21, 2023
𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐣𝐨𝐛: Professional basketball player for @UCAMMurcia
𝐒𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐣𝐨𝐛: Crowd-Silencer 🤫#BasketballCL pic.twitter.com/HXA6nqkKiB
Travis Trice was the only other player in double figures with 10 for coach Sito Alonso who will be especially happy with the defensive part of the story. For the first time in five years, Murcia held their opponents below 70 points in consecutive games in the BCL. Back in 2018, they had three such games.
Bilbao signed out getting 14 points from both Michale Kyser and Adam Smith. They hope they'll be back next year.
"Our ambition now is to play [in the] BCL again. So we will focus on the ACB now, try to do the best possible so we can qualify for the BCL and return next year," coach Jaume Ponsarnau said after the game.
His players are currently at 10-13 in the Spanish Liga Endesa, sitting in 11th spot. They are three wins behind the 8th spot, with 11 games still to play in the Regular Season.