23 September, 2023
01 January, 2024
Game Report
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Cholet Basket book last ticket to Regular Season

ANTALYA (Turkiye) - The Basketball Champions League Regular Season field is now set, after Cholet Basket defeated Happy Casa Brindisi in the Final of Qualifying Rounds Tournament 2 on Sunday.

It finished 80-69, with the French side getting their second taste of the group stage, following their previous Regular Season appearance in 2020-21.Β 


Turning point: Cholet were firmly in control of the game, with just one lead change happening in the 40 minutes. Brindisi however did not give up and had a solid run to close the gap and make it a two-possession game with just over a minute remaining.

The Italians even had a possession to make it interesting, but Gerry Blakes came up with a huge steal, allowing Cholet Basket to ice the game from the charity stripe.


Game hero: Neal Sako needed just 22 minutes to collect 19 points, while shooting 9-of-12 from the field. He led a balanced offense, and it was his most productive game of the tournament in Turkiye, after getting 12 points against both Telenet Antwerp Giants and Pallacanestro Varese.

Three other players finished in double figures for coach Laurent Vila, including Vojtech Hruban with 11. The BCL all-time scoring leader will make it back to the Regular Season, with an opportunity to become the first player with 1000+ points in this competition.


Stats don't lie: Rebounds were important, and Cholet won that battle 49-33, including 23 offensive boards, allowing them to create a 20-13 edge in second chance points, and a 42-16 advantage in points in the paint.

Brindisi struggled to protect the paint, but also missed eight free throws in the game. Jamel Morris had a team-high 15 points.

Bottom line: Cholet are back for another run in the BCL, and keep an eye on Tidjane Salaun, the 18-year-old forward who is now the hot favorite to win the Best Young Player award. Back in 2020-21, they already had the BYP of the BCL in Yoan Makoundou.

They will join Group C, alongside Lenovo Tenerife, Darussafaka Lassa and VEF Riga.