Tenerife shake off slow start to remain unbeaten in Round of 16
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA (Spain) - Lenovo Tenerife have extended their home winning streak in the Basketball Champions League to 11 games, equaling their longest in the competition, after defeating Surne Bilbao 78-66 in the all-Spanish Game of the Week.
With the win, Txus Vidorreta became the first coach to reach 75 wins in the competition. He also has the most games coached in league history, currently 99.
Turning point: Both teams got off to a bit of a slow start and remained close throughout the first half with Tenerife holding a 33-29 lead. Tenerife opened the game up at the end of the third quarter after they went on a 10-0 run in the final1:24 of the frame.
The defending champs extended their lead to as many as 16 in the final quarter and Bilbao couldn't get back into within striking distance for the rest of the game.
Game heroes: Giorgi Shermadini had a game-high 22 points for Tenerife along with 7 rebounds, while shooting 10-of-14 from the field. The 33-year-old center now has 323 rebounds, the fourth most amongst all players in BCL history, and is now also only the second player to score 800+ points in the BCL with a total of 812 points, behind only Vojtech Hruban (996).
Bruno Fitipaldo also gave a big spark to Tenerife off the bench with 19 points, knocking down 5-of-8 three-pointers.
Stats don't lie: Tenerife put the ball in the basket at a better efficiency, (51.8 percent overall compared to Bilbao's 38.7 percent). Both teams attempted 22 threes, but Tenerife connected on three more.
Despite the loss, Bilbao had success in the rebounding department of the game, as they grabbed 14 of their 37 rebounds in the first quarter and 18 of their total came on the offensive glass. Those offensive rebounds led to 20 second chance points.
Bottom line: Tenerife remain unbeaten at 3-0 in Group L, while Bilbao fall to 1-2 in the group. Bilbao were led in defeat by Adam Smith who finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. These two teams will square off again when BCL games resume on Tuesday March 7 with Bilbao playing as the hosts.
That 𝟔𝟔 doesn't look like a lot...but it's the most points Lenovo Tenerife allowed in the #BasketballCL 𝗥𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝟭𝟲 so far! 😱 The Defending champs 🏆 up to 𝟑-𝟎 in a hurry.— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) February 7, 2023
They said: "I think it was a hard-fought game for us. We started off pretty slow and they played good defense in the first half. I think we made adjustments in the second half and came out with the win." - Elgin Cook, Lenovo Tenerife
"They [Bilbao] started the game with a great intensity, played very good defense. We have problems during the first 10 minutes: too tight, our energy, but finally we did it in the second quarter. Our job on defense was good." - Txus Vidorreta, Head Coach Lenovo Tenerife
"I think both teams played well. We competed for 40 minutes, with the exception of maybe three or four minutes where we lost the focus. Against a great team like Tenerife, that can be the game. We have some injuries here and there, so our goal is to get healthy and keep building." - Adam Smith, Surne Bilbao
"I think we played solid, the most solid game in this moment of the competition. It's not enough against Tenerife because Tenerife is a very, very solid team. Today, we won two quarters and for us in our last games, we are winning few number of the quarters, so for us, this is good." - Jaume Ponsarnau, Head Coach Surne Bilbao