17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
23 David Mutaf (BURS)
to read

The Great Eight: Perl first over 30, Huertas dominant at 40, Mutaf game-winner at 21

MIES (Switzerland) - For the first time in Season 8, one player scored more than 30 points, but that was not enough for Zoltan Perl to also celebrate a win. Meanwhile, Lenovo Tenerife keep on winning at home, tying the all-time record set by AS Monaco.

First things first, here are the results of the day:

In line with this being the eighth season of the Basketball Champions League, we went through the numbers to pick out the Great Eight stats that stood out all across the continent.

Most points

The usual game plan against Falco Vulcano Szombathely would be to stop Zoltan Perl, or at least minimize the damage, and let the others defeat you if they could. However, coach Vassilis Spanoulis and Peristeri bwin had other ideas, allowing Perl to get his points, but stopping his teammates completely.

Perl came off the bench and set his new BCL career-high with 31 points, hitting 12-of-20 shots from the field, with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and no turnovers in 32 minutes of work.

By getting 31 points, he set a new mark in the BCL this season, becoming the first player to score more than 30 in Season 8. Also, this made it his third 30+ point game in November, with the other two coming in the Hungarian League, proving Perl is on another level right now.

And yet, Peristeri walked out with a win. Spanoulis' men led from start to finish, building a 21-point lead, and then, after a nervous fourth quarter, watched as Marcell Pongo had a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the tie. It did not fall, Peristeri completed the sweep over Falco and are now looking good in the battle for the next round.

Perl's heroics will be needed in the next two games if Falco want to advance. They travel to Malaga next, before finishing off the Regular Season with a home game against Le Mans Sarthe Basket.

Most rebounds

VEF Riga got back into the hunt with a win over Cholet Basket, but they are still at the bottom of their group. However, even after those three opening defeats, there were plenty of positives for the Latvian champs, one of them under the rim.

Arnaldo Toro Barea needed just 4 points against Cholet to get a mention here, because he collected a day-high 13 rebounds, 10 of them on the defensive end, controlling the paint against Cholet's strong frontcourt.

Toro Barea is now up to almost 10 rebounds per game, leading that statistical category in the BCL this season.

Most assists

Lenovo Tenerife lost against Darussafaka Lassa in Istanbul, which meant they had some added motivation for the reverse fixture in San Cristobal de La Laguna. It was another close game, which only made it more perfect for Marcelinho Huertas to take over.

The 40-year-old point guard decided he's going to torture the visitors by passing in the first half, collecting 10 assists before the break. After the defense adjusted at halftime, Huertas came back to dissect the coverages by scoring the ball in the third and fourth quarters.

Marcelinho finished with 21 points and 11 assists, breaking the 500 BCL assists mark as the first player to do so. This was his second game with 20+ points and 10+ assists, first one in four years, and is now the fourth player with two such games, standing tall next to Jordan Theodore, Chris Wright and Joe Ragland.

Tenerife are back on top again, winning their 17th straight home game, tying the record set by AS Monaco back in 2017 and 2018. At 3-1, they also own the tiebreaker over Darussafaka.

Most steals

To piggyback on the part of Toro Barea protecting the paint for VEF Riga - he wasn't alone. His partner in crime Alexander Madsen had 4 steals on the day.

Most blocks

Back to Madsen again, because he blocked three shots on the day. With seven stocks (steals+blocks), he was the biggest defensive difference maker for VEF Riga to get them their first win of the season.

Best +/-

Sasu Salin is a regular in this stat, and Lenovo Tenerife were +20 in his 25 minutes of work.

Highest efficiency

It was always going to be Perl. With 33 in efficiency, he tied the season-best mark set by Harald Frey from Telekom Baskets Bonn 20 days ago.

Most three-pointers made

Bursaspor Info Yatirim did not look good to start the season. However, their recent games in the Turkish League showed promise of better days to come, and on Tuesday, they played the best game of their season.

"In the first game Bonn gave us a big lesson in modern basketball. We worked a lot this last month, we improved our game and we found let's say the 6-7 players who can better compete with them," coach Jure Zdovc said after the win.

One of those six-or-seven players is David Mutaf. Not only can he compete, at 21 years old he entered the Best Young Player discussion with a bang, hitting a day-high four three-pointers with his sweet lefty stroke, and he finished the game with 19 points in 31 minutes as a starter.

That was impressive, especially in front of a packed house where the defending BCL winners reside.