17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
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Tuesday recap: Champs hold off Galatasaray in front of sell-out crowd; Promitheas win all-Greek battle

MIES (Switzerland) - The Round of 16 in Basketball Champions League Season 8 tipped off with five games on Tuesday.

Reigning champions Telekom Baskets Bonn, who went 6-0 in this stage last season, are off to a great start this year,  with a win over Galatasaray EKMAS at home.

As usual whenever Galatasaray are playing a game in Germany the arena was packed to the rafters, but it was the home fans who cheered the loudest as Bonn held back a second half comeback attempt by the club from Turkiye.

Galatasaray were down by just a single point with eight minutes left to play, but coach Roel Moors found a hero in Thomas Kennedy. With Bonn leading 62-61, Kennedy  came up with a layup, a free-throw, a block, a two-pointer, another block and an assist in quick succession for the hosts to extend the lead to 69-61 with just under seven minutes to go.

Coach Zvezdan Mitrovic's men were still in a two-possession game until the final four minutes, but Glynn Watson took it from there, scoring 13 of his 23 points in that span to keep the Round of 16 streak alive for Bonn.

Sam Griesel scored 20 points for the defending champs, while Kennedy had 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and an efficiency rating of 28. Bonn were a +20 team with the two of them on the floor, an impressive number considering the final score was 89-76.

Galatasaray got 15 points from Akwasi Yeboah, but it was a game to forget for them. They are back home in a week, playing host to JDA Bourgogne Dijon.

Whatever happens in that one, one thing is certain: one of the two teams will get their first Round of 16 win, because Dijon were also defeated at the start of Group J proceedings.

MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg put on a show in the second half, led by Silas Melson, to prevail 89-82. The second unit leader proved once again that it's not about who starts the game, it's about who finishes it, getting 15 points in the final quarter for his team to steal a potentially big one on the road.

Melson had 23 points on 5-of-7 shots from beyond the arc, while three other Giants scored in double figures, too. It was another case of Ludwigsburg proving they can beat anybody when the shots are falling, shooting 11-of-24 from the three-point range.

Ahmad Caver had 14 in a losing effort for Dijon.

# Team P W L % For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 BONN Telekom Baskets Bonn 1 1 0 100 89 76 13 89 76 2
2 LUD MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 1 1 0 100 89 82 7 89 82 2
3 JDA JDA Bourgogne Dijon 1 0 1 0 82 89 -7 82 89 1
4 GALA Galatasaray EKMAS 1 0 1 0 76 89 -13 76 89 1

In Group L, UCAM Murcia and Promitheas Patras picked up wins at home against Hapoel Holon and AEK BETSSON BC, respectively.

Holon led for just one minute and 12 seconds in Spain, before Murcia made it a one-way street in a 78-61 win. In typical coach Sito Alonso fashion, 11 different players scored for UCAM, with Troy Caupain and Dylan Ennis equally combining for 32 to lead the way.

Murcia are again at home next week, in a battle of the 1-0 teams as Promitheas Patras have to make the trip to Spain. The all-Greek affair was a dramatic one, of course, but Promitheas prevailed, defeating AEK 80-79 at home.

This was their second win of the season over AEK, with the previous a 100-95 success in the Greek League, and once again it was the backcourt one-two punch there to deliver the knockdown.

Anthony Cowan and Hunter Hale connected on 41 points and 15 assists for coach Ilias Papatheodorou, just enough to hold on to a one point win at the buzzer.

Justin Tillman had 18 for AEK, who got 9 points from Austin Hollins, 12 from Brandon Knight and 11 from Jordan Morgan in their first games for the club.

AEK travel to Hungary to face Hapoel Holon on Gameday 2.

# Team P W L % For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 UCAM UCAM Murcia 1 1 0 100 78 61 17 78 61 2
2 PROM Promitheas Patras 1 1 0 100 80 79 1 80 79 2
3 AEK AEK BETSSON BC 1 0 1 0 79 80 -1 79 80 1
4 HOLO Hapoel Holon 1 0 1 0 61 78 -17 61 78 1

Over in Group K, Lenovo Tenerife defeated Pinar Karsiyaka in one of the most exciting games of the season. You can read about it here.