17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
21 Tim Abromaitis (LNTF)
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Wednesday recap: Jerusalem, Tenerife don't miss a beat in Group K battle

MIES (Switzerland) - Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem and Lenovo Tenerife continue their winning runs in Group K and both stand at 2-0 in the rankings, while Unicaja remain the only unbeaten team in Group I, outlasting Cholet Basket on the road in France on Wednesday.

In Belgrade, Pinar Karsiyaka dreamed of ending their horrible losing streak on the road. They came into the game against Jerusalem on a 10-game losing streak away from Turkiye, and while it seemed they had a shot to upset last year's finalists,  the reality was a bit different.

Karsiyaka trailed 69-68 with four minutes to play, but Jerusalem coach Ilias Kantzouris did not ring the alarm bells. Levi Randolph and Chris Johnson create some breathing space for the hosts, before the ball was put into Speedy Smith's hands once again in the final minute.

A big three-pointer by Smith took Jerusalem to 80-72 and Karsiyaka had nothing left in the tank to fuel another comeback.

Jerusalem won 83-74 with Randolph bouncing back from his 0-of-12 shooting game last week to collect a team-high 19 points. JaCorey Williams dunked his way to 15 points off the bench, while Smith dished out 12 assists to go with his 9 points on the day.

Vernon Carey Jr and Darrun Hilliard had 18 each for coach Ufuk Sarica, but the Turkish juggernauts fell to 0-2 in the group standings.

Hapoel are again in Belgrade next week but have the toughest possible task, facing the other 2-0 team in this group, two-time champions Lenovo Tenerife.

The Spanish team took care of business on the island on Wednesday, pulling away early on from Peristeri bwin to end the contest 89-68.

Kyle Guy had 26 points off the bench, Marcelinho Huertas scored 18 with 7 assists, Ilimane Diop also had 18, but with 7 rebounds. Kenny Williams got 25 points for Peristeri, but coach Vassilis Spanoulis's team were no match for Txus Vidorreta's system on the day.

It was Tenerife's 18th straight win at home in the BCL, setting a new competition record after previously sharing top spot with AS Monaco at 17 home wins in a row each.

# Team P W L % For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 LNTF Lenovo Tenerife 2 2 0 100 195 165 30 97.5 82.5 4
2 JLM Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 2 2 0 100 160 149 11 80 74.5 4
3 KSK Pinar Karsiyaka 2 0 2 0 171 189 -18 85.5 94.5 2
4 PERI Peristeri bwin 2 0 2 0 143 166 -23 71.5 83 2

Tenerife aren't the only unbeaten Spanish team, even though Cholet Basket almost halted Unicaja's good start to the Round of 16. The feel-good team of the season had a sellout crowd behind them in France, and an euphoric run to take a 66-61 lead into the fourth quarter.

However, coach Ibon Navarro has created a machine capable of overturning any kind of deficit with 10 minutes to play. Unicaja switched through the gears and won the final stanza 25-8 even though they had a crazy sequence of three straight missed open layups.

But that's Unicaja's mentality over the last two seasons - never giving up, always believing the next shot will go in, and when you have Tyson Carter on the floor, the chances are the shot's going in whenever he's the one making the decisions.

Last season's Copa del Rey MVP had 11 points and 6 assists, Nihad Dedovic did his part with 11 points, and it was David Kravish doing a bit of everything once again, as he finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks, including the defensive play of the season so far.


The final score said 86-74, meaning Cholet dropped to 1-1. They can be proud of their effort, especially of Craig Randall II with another 20-point game, and Neal Sako getting 14 points and 11 rebounds.

In the other Group I game, Tofas Bursa defeated SIG Strasbourg 93-71 with ease, leading from start to finish to pick up their first W.

Ten different players scored for Tofas, five of them were in double figures, and they shot 13-of-25 from the three-point range as a team. JJ O'Brien scored a team-high 14 points off the bench.

Strasbourg had a game to forget, but at least Phil Booth was his usual self, getting a game-high 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

# Team P W L % For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 UNI Unicaja 2 2 0 100 175 144 31 87.5 72 4
2 TOF Tofas Bursa 2 1 1 50.0 163 160 3 81.5 80 3
3 CHO Cholet Basket 2 1 1 50.0 172 179 -7 86 89.5 3
4 SIG SIG Strasbourg 2 0 2 0 164 191 -27 82 95.5 2