Tuesday recap: Prepelic double-double sends Galatasaray through; PAOK survive double OT in Turkiye
MIES (Switzerland) - Galatasaray EKMAS reached the Round of 16 in the Basketball Champions League for the third straight year, while their compatriots Tofas Bursa failed to take advantage of home court in a double overtime thriller against PAOK Mateco.
Bertram Derthona Tortona were one of the best newcomers in BCL history, but their Regular Season magic disappeared in the Play-Ins. After going 5-1 in pool play, they stumbled upon a much different Galatasaray team, which found a new leader in Klemen Prepelic.
The FIBA EuroBasket 2017 hero naturally felt at home in the Sinan Erdem Arena, and his massive double-double left no chances for Tortona to send the series back to Italy. Galatasaray won the game 95-89, won the series 2-0 and moved to Round of 16 Group J.
Prepelic made all 10 shots from the free-throw line en route to a 23-point, 12-assist statline, in exactly 30 minutes of play. He had a helping hand from Sadik Emir Kabaca (15 points), Dee Bost (14 points) and Jonah Radebaugh (13 points, 3-of-3 from beyond the arc), while Miralem Halilovic deserves an honorable mention.
Playing 17 minutes on the day, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international scored 5 points with 8 rebounds, but had a team-high +10 in the boxscore. Colbey Ross had 21 points for Tortona in a losing effort.
Galatasaray's next opponents will be JDA Bourgogne Dijon and Telekom Baskets Bonn, as well as the winner of the MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg v Darussafaka Lassa series.
Tofas Bursa could've made it a Turkish day to remember, but Zeljko Sakic's buzzer beating attempt from three-point range at the end of second overtime bounced off the rim and PAOK mateco, who kept their calm in front of a loud crowd in Bursa, triumphed 88-87 to bring the series back to Greece for the deciding Game 3.
Both teams had multiple chances to win the game in regulation and the first overtime, but in the end it came down to big defensive stops.
Jamuni McNeace had the biggest one of the game, stopping a Cassius Winston layup attempt with a monster block to protect a one-point PAOK lead moments before Sakic misfired on the final shot.
Elvar Fridriksson had 18 points and 8 assists for PAOK, Andrew Harrison and McNeace finished with 17 each, while McNeace also claimed 9 boards and 3 blocks. The unsung hero was Nikos Tsiakmas, with 15 points and 7 rebounds off the bench.
Three players scored more than 20 points for Tofas, but they ran out of gas in the final minutes. Austin Wiley led the way with 23 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks.
So it wasn't a Turkish day in the BCL, but instead Promitheas Patras made it a Greek day. They put up 30 points in the first quarter and never looked back, defeating Le Mans Sarthe Basket 91-78, to sweep the French team 2-0 and enter the Round of 16.
Anthony Cowan continued his double-digit scoring streak, picking up his seventh 10+ game of the campaign, with 16 of his 21 points coming in the first half. He also had 7 assists, while Jamal Jones (17pts) and Hunter Hale (16pts) did their part in less than 25 minutes of action.
Promitheas will move to Group L, alongside compatriots AEK BETSSON BC and UCAM Murcia. The fourth member of the group will be known next week, since Filou Oostende prevented a Hapoel Holon sweep, keeping their perfect record at home this season.
The perennial Belgian champions held Holon to just 24 first-half points, and when they started the third quarter with a 10-0 run, it was clear we're headed towards Game 3 next week. Final score in Belgium: 71-61.
The boxscore showcased some pure Gjergja-ball: A 10-man rotation with 9 different scorers, led by Pierre-Antoine Gillet's 15 points, Damien Jefferson's 14, and 12 from the Belgian legend Sam Van Rossom, who orchestrated the balanced offense just the way coach Dario Gjergja likes it. Oostende are now 4-0 at home in the BCL this season.
Shawn Dawson was the best Holon player on the day with 16 points. Hapoel will host Game 3 in Szombathely, Hungary next Tuesday.