The Great Eight: Sant-Roos steals the show
MIES (Switzerland) - UCAM Murcia stormed by Igokea m:tel for another win, this time on the road, while their forward Howard Sant-Roos stole the show, quite literally, leaving his imprint in the Basketball Champions League history books in the process.
It was a three-game Tuesday as Season 8 of the BCL approaches the end of November. Here are the results of the day:
- Pinar Karsiyaka (3-1) v SIG Strasbourg (3-1) 87-72
- Igokea m:tel (0-4) v UCAM Murcia (3-1) 63-79
- EWE Baskets Oldenburg (1-3) v Filou Oostende (1-3) 81-64
Now, in line with this being Season 8, here are the eight main stats of the boxscore and the heroes of the night.
Phil Booth is having a career year in Strasbourg. His team was out of the game from the get-go in Turkiye, but they would've been out of the tiebreaker hunt had it not been for another magnificent night the SIG guard.
Booth scored 20 points on the day, the only player to reach that number across all three games, after making 8-of-13 shots from the field, with 6 assists also to his name.
Unfortunately for him, this statline was not enough to protect the tiebreaker in a wild finish which saw an off-balance buzzer-beating three-pointer keeping Strasbourg and Karsiyaka in a deadlock with two games to play in the Regular Season.
Igokea m:tel are currently in the second spot in the Adriatic League, trailing only Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. With such good domestic form, they expected to test UCAM Murcia's solid start to the Spanish Liga Endesa, and they were enjoying a fine eight minutes or so to start the game.
But once coach Sito Alonso called Moussa Diagne's name, it all went downhill for the Bosnia and Herzegovina champs. A 21-12 Igokea lead was followed by a 20-0 (!) Murcia run , powered by their big man in the middle who was rock solid on both ends, and gave the starting center Simon Birgander some valuable rest on this trip.
Diagne was one point short of getting a double-double, and nobody matched his 11 rebounds on the night, all 11 being defensive. He also had 3 blocks, and Murcia were a +20 team in his 19 minutes of work.
SIG Strasbourg's Quinton Hooker had 7 assists. He went for number eight on the last possession, but that rushed fast break opened the doors completely for a last-gasp shot by Kelan Martin and Pinar Karsiyaka at the other end.
Back in his days with ERA Nymburk and AEK, Howard Sant-Roos established himself as an elite defender on this level. He is now a 32-year-old with loads of experience, which is why he can be one of the best players on the floor with just three points scored in 30 minutes of work.
Sant-Roos is an amazing asset for coach Sito Alonso and the way he wants UCAM Murcia to play. With 6 steals on the day, he made us search through tjhe record books to find the all-time record for most steals in a single game, and he got close to it - Daniel Mullings of Kataja and Jeremy Leloup of Dijon had 8 steals each in the first two seasons of the BCL.
However, he did move up in career steals in the Basketball Champions League. With 95 steals, he surpassed Leloup (91) in second spot, and is now trailing only David Holston (105) across eight seasons of BCL.
Nemanja Radovic of UCAM Murcia, Vitto Brown and Darrun Hilliard of Pinar Karsiyaka all had 2 blocks, but it was another man with the same tally who deserves a special mention.
With his team up by 12 and needing a win by 15 or more, Vernon Carey Jr. did not give up on a two-on-one fast break. Instead, he ran back and managed to block Romuald Morency's layup attempt, then threw the ball forward and created Kelan Martin's last second shot for the tie.
The shot went in at the buzzer, tying both teams at 3-1 and a dead 0 points difference in head-to-head. However, Karsiyaka now have the higher points difference in all group games, taking first place in the group with two Gamedays remaining in the Regular Season.
UCAM Murcia were a +26 team in Nemanja Radovic's 21 minutes on the floor.
Vernon Carey is having the time of his life in Turkiye. With 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal, he had an efficiency rating of 27.
This was just another dominant game by the Karsiyaka center, who is now the new leader in efficiency per game in the BCL, averaging 23.0 in that category, narrowly edging out MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg's Jayvon Graves (22.3).
Most three-pointers made
Filou Oostende looked top of the world a couple of weeks ago with their win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg. But even with Pierre-Antoine Gillet hitting five three-pointers in Germany, they lost the game by a bigger margin than their win in Belgium.
They could not stop DeWayne Russell who had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, ending EWE Baskets Oldenburg's eight-game losing streak in this competition.
Just like that, Oldenburg are back in the hunt for a place among the top three in the group at 1-3, trailing the leading duet of Karsiyaka and Strasbourg by two wins with two to play.