Tuesday recap: The MVP's incredible Jekyll and Hyde game
MIES (Switzerland) - Unicaja are up to 3-0, Galatasaray fall to 0-3, but the MVP of the Month for January stole the headlines on Tuesday with a performance that had two faces for Promitheas Patras in a road win over Hapoel Holon.
Hunter Hale was not even a shadow of himself for the first 27 minutes of the game in Hungary. The lefty shooter was scoreless up until that point and finally saw the ball go through the net on a pair of free-throws with three minutes left to play in the third quarter.
The thing with elite scorers like Hale, though - in his mind, he wasn't having a 2-point game without any made field goals. He was 2-of-2 on his last two attempts and was just starting a whole new game over the last 13 minutes, completely erasing his 0-of-7 shooting start to this encounter.
Hale had 5 points entering the final ten minutes. Promitheas could not break away from a stubborn Holon, and it seemed like we could be working overtime when the Israelis cut the deficit back to three points with less than two minutes left on the game clock.
But if he was Mr. Hyde early in the game, Hunter Hale turned into Dr. Jekyll for his teammates on the closing three possessions. First, a wild stepback three-pointer to make it +6 for Promitheas. Then, a circus running shot while the net was still upside down from his previous wild stepback three-pointer.
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Finally, when it was clear that Promitheas were going to fly back home to Greece with a win, he found time to dish out an assist for a Jamal Jones triple, setting the final score at 74-65.
Hale scored all 16 of his points in the last 13 minutes, on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Anthony Cowan came off the bench for a team-high 18 points, while Jones' three-pointer made him the third Patras player in double figures, with 10 points.
Hapoel Holon got 18 from each of Netanel Artzi and Shawn Dawson, but without the sidelined through injury Justin Smith, this was a very tough assignment for them.
Promitheas are now up to 2-1 in the Group L standings and Holon slide to 1-2 with three games to play. Earlier on Tuesday, UCAM Murcia took care of business against AEK BETSSON in Athens to climb to 3-0.
|AEK BETSSON BC
In Group I, Unicaja completed the sweep on their French tour. Just a week after their win in Cholet, Ibon Navarro's men controlled the pace of the game against SIG Strasbourg to defeat them 79-70 and remain perfect in the Round of 16.
Strasbourg's depth was always going to be tested against the best second unit of the BCL. Unicaja won the second-chance points battle by 11, and they held their hosts to just 44.8 percent shooting from the field, more than enough to avoid a dramatic conclusion to the game.
Kendrick Perry had a team-high 15 points, Kameron Taylor and Dylan Osetkowski combined equally for 26 points and Melvin Ejim chipped in with 10.
Coach Navarro gave 11 of his 12 players minutes and nobody played less than 9:30 minutes, or more than 24:15, proving once again how balanced this team is.
Tyrus McGee played his best game in a SIG jersey, counting to 21 points, but Strasbourg are winless after three games.
Galatasaray EKMAS suffer that same predicament in Group J after losing 100-80 to MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg. It was the first time the German team hit the century mark this season, led by Jayvon Graves, of course.
This was Ludwigsburg's sixth home game and Graves has scored 20 or more in every single one of them. He tormented Galatasaray's defense with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
Coach Josh King saw an Unicaja-like effort off the bench, with three players reaching double figures despite not starting the game. Silas Melson had 18 points, Jaren Lewis had 14 and Jeff Roberson 11.
Ludwigsburg hit all 19 of their free-throws and there's not much any team can do against them when they make 15 three-pointers, especially on 43 percent shooting from deep.
Ludwigsburg are now 2-1, waiting for the outcome of the game between JDA Bourgogne Dijon and Telekom Baskets Bonn on Wednesday.