17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
Sasu Salin (LNTF)
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The Great Eight: The top numbers of Season 8's opening day

MIES (Switzerland) - The eighth season of the Basketball Champions League tipped off on Tuesday, with some impressive individual performances all over the continent. In line with the season's number, we picked eight that stood out.

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

  • VEF Riga v Darussafaka Lassa 75-84
  • AEK BETSSON BC v MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 84-79
  • King Szczecin v Banco di Sardegna Sassari 93-85
  • Pinar Karsiyaka v Filou Oostende 94-77
  • EWE Baskets Oldenburg v SIG Strasbourg 83-85 (OT)
  • Le Mans Sarthe Basket v Peristeri bwin 96-68
  • Lenovo Tenerife v Cholet Basket 95-75

And here are the eight best numbers of the day:

Most points

Lenovo Tenerife had a slow start and trailed by 19 (!) points early in the second quarter, but Cholet Basket then found out how hot Sasu Salin can get.

The sharp-shooting Finnish sniper knocked down seven straight three-pointers in the second quarter alone, getting 22 points in that period, which would tie him for Errick McCollum for most on the day in the entire BCL.

Salin got three more in the second half, finishing with 25 points on 8-of-9 shooting from three-point range, all done in less than 22 minutes of work.

Most rebounds

Darussafaka Lassa had one of the most efficient rebounders in the BCL in Gabriel Olaseni for the past two seasons. They seem to have found an even better one this time around.

David McCormack pulled down 12 rebounds in 24 minutes, to go with his 19 points and a number of big scary dunks, sending a message on behalf of the Turkish club: They aren't messing around in Season 8.

Honorable mention: Morris Udeze, with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double to give the Polish champs King Szczecin their first ever BCL win.

Most assists

There can be only one answer. Marcelinho Huertas dished out 13 assists in Tenerife's winning start to the season. Two others were in double digits: Joe Ragland (Peristeri bwin) with 10 in a defeat to Le Mans Sarthe Basket; Mason Jones (Darussafaka Lassa) with 11 in their win over VEF Riga on the road.

Most steals

AEK BETSSON BC had one of the most dramatic wins of the day, turning what was a 79-76 deficit in the final minute into an 84-79 win over MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg.

Langston Hall dished an assist for the tie and made the go-ahead layup in that run, but his defense was the most impressive thing of the day. He had a BCL day-high 3 steals, complementing his 12-point, 8-assist stat line.

EWE Baskets Oldenburg's Ebuka Izundu also had 3 steals on the day.

Most blocks

Pinar Karsiyaka found a new gem over the summer, and he's still just a 22-year-old at that. Vernon Carey Jr came off the bench to block 3 shots and alter plenty more, putting Filou Oostende's offense to a stall in the paint. He finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds and efficiency rating of 29.

Lenovo Tenerife's swingman Joan Sastre also blocked three shots on the day.

Best +/-

Kyle Allman made the rest of the continent fall in love with his game back at VEF Riga three seasons ago. He had no mercy for his former team in his first game back in Riga, Darussafaka Lassa were a +32 team with Allman on the floor.

He collected a team-high 21 points, as well.

Highest efficiency

Two men already mentioned: Vernon Carey Jr and David McCormack, getting 29 each for the two Turkish teams.

Most three-pointers made

Sasu Salin knocked down 8 three-pointers. Not only was that the most by any player by some distance, he also made more shots from beyond the arc than Cholet Basket (7), Le Mans Sarthe Basket (7), Filou Oostende (7), AEK BETSSON BC (2), and tied SIG Strasbourg (8) and Pinar Karsiyaka (8).