23 September, 2023
01 January, 2024
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Tournament 2: Cholet or Brindisi, who will make it back to the Regular Season?

ANTALYA (Turkiye) - The Final matchup in the Basketball Champions League Qualification Tournament 2 is all set. Either Cholet Basket or Happy Casa Brindisi will enter the Regular Season after their Sunday duel.

On Friday, Cholet Basket had the tough task of stopping the high-pace Pallacanestro Varese in the Semi-Finals. That mission was completed successfully, as the French side took home a 96-88 win over the storied Italian club.

It could've gone either way, when you consider that no team held a double-digit lead at any point during the entire game, while each of Cholet and Varese held a nine-point lead briefly. It went down to which team can time their run better, and coach Laurent Vila had the perfect reaction, steering his team to a 10-0 run after they had trailed 86-84 with three minutes to play.

Enzo Goudou-Sinha, T.J. Campbell and Neal Sako were the three players involved in that crucial run, and they were also three of the six players in double digits for Cholet Basket.

Campbell was the man of the hour with 23 points and 8 assists, Gerry Blakes had 13 with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, Sako and BCL's all-time leading scorer Vojtech Hruban got 12 apiece, Goudou-Sinha and Gerald Ayayi combined equally for 20 on the night.

Varese got 27 points and 9 rebounds from Sean McDermott, but they could not find their way to the group stage.

Cholet will have to meet another Italian team in the Final., as Happy Casa Brindisi stifled Heroes Den Bosch in the other Semi-Final to win it 78-63.

A 26-15 second quarter saw the LegaBasket Serie A team take control of the game, and from that point on, it was about managing the difference and keeping their cool over the last 20 minutes.

The lead grew to +22 as Brindisi's defense kept the Heroes at just 29 points in the second half. Coach Fabio Corbani will be proud not only of his defense, but also of his offense, since his players shot 48.3 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from three-point range and made 10-of-11 free throws.

Den Bosch were 40.0-22.7-54.5 from the same distances, nowhere near enough to make it interesting and charge towards the Final.

Jamel Morris had a team-high 19 points for Brindisi. Jajuan Johnson scored 12, Wendell Mitchell was all about 11s with 11 points in 22 minutes and 33 seconds, and Jordan Bayehe was solid off the bench with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Thomas van der Mars' 16-point, 8-rebound game goes to waste for Heroes Den Bosch.

Cholet Basket already played the Regular Season of the Basketball Champions League back in 2020-21. Happy Casa Brindisi reached the Regular Season in three consecutive seasons from 2019 to 2022, reaching the Play-Offs in 2020-21.

We will find out who makes it back to the group stage on Sunday. Tip-off in Turkiye is at 18:30 local time (17:30 CET). The winner advances to Regular Season Group C, alongside Lenovo Tenerife, Darussafaka Lassa and VEF Riga.