17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
Game Report
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UCAM Murcia turn back Peristeri in hard-fought 3rd Place Game in Belgrade

BELGRADE (Serbia) - UCAM Murcia defeated Peristeri bwin in the closest ever 3rd-Place Game of the Basketball Champions League, to step on the podium in Belgrade, matching their previous best finish in the competition.

In 2018, at the Athens Final Four, they defeated MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg 85-74. On Sunday, they handed Peristeri an 87-84 loss, but even in defeat the Greek team has something to be proud of. Their fourth spot is their best finish in any international competition in club's history.

Turning point:
3rd-Place Games are always a matter of having the right attitude and wanting to bounce back after a heartbreak on Friday. Murcia came out with more energy and scored 27 first-quarter points, taking control of the game from the start.

They soon created a double-digit advantage and led by as many as 16 points before a late third quarter run saw Peristeri back within single digits, as the reduced the deficit to 63-55 with ten minutes left on the clock.

The gap came down to 73-70 after Joe Ragland's 24th point with 4:44 left to play, setting up a thrilling finish.

That was Ludvig Hakanson's time to shine. The Swedish guard knocked down a gigantic three-pointer to beat the shot clock buzzer and gave Murcia an 83-75 lead with just 90 seconds left to play.

There was one more potential comeback in the final minute, but Nikos Chougkaz's three-point attempt to force a tie with 11 seconds to play was blocked by Marko Todorovic, saving the day for Murcia.

Game hero: Hakanson finished with 22 points, his new BCL career-high, hitting five three-pointers in the process. The Swede had scored a total of 4 points over his previous five BCL games with Murcia, and once again improved his incredible record when scoring in double digits.

That has happened nine times in BCL history, and Hakanson was on the winning side in eight of those nine instances.

Another crazy Hakanson stat: He went 7-of-7 from the free-throw line, meaning he's shooting 41-of-42 from the charity stripe in his BCL career.

Stats don't lie: For a team which maintains control, Peristeri committing 15 turnovers proved costly, allowing UCAM Murcia to get a 25-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

Bottom line: Peristeri did not give up for a single second in this Final Four, and they will remember Season 8 of the BCL though infinity. Especially coach Vassilis Spanoulis, who claimed his first major international coaching award, being named the BCL Coach of the Season.

Joe Ragland had 24 points for Peristeri in this one, Kenny Williams and Nate Renfro were also in double digits with 18 and 12 respectively, giving the large group of traveling Peristeri fans something to sing about.

UCAM Murcia sign out on a positive note for the second time in BCL history. With a third place finish in their hands, they are now switching their focus to the Spanish League, standing tall at 19-11 ahead of their final four Regular Season games.

They said: