Tournament 3: Strasbourg, Obradoiro to clash in decider for Regular Season berth
ANTALYA (Turkiye) - SIG Strasbourg and Monbus Obradoiro are the last two teams standing in the Basketball Champions League Qualification Round Tournament 3, after a couple of close games on Thursday.
SIG Strasbourg have played in all seven Regular Seasons to date, and hope to make it eight straight this week. They had to dig deep in the Quarter-Finals, and their Semi-Finals matchup with Ironi Hay Motors Ness Ziona from Israel went down to the wire, too.
Strasbourg were up by two points, had possession and a four second difference between the shot clock and the game clock. Ironi chose not to foul but to defend and attack off a potential miss, Strasbourg looked to run down the clock as much as possible.
The Israeli defense did its part, put Strasbourg where it wanted them as the shot clock expired, but Hugo Invernizzi made the off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer, killing all hopes of a comeback by Ness Ziona and gifting Strasbourg a 79-74 win.
In contrast to the their Quarter-Final matchup, here SIG were the ones in control for most of the game and led for all but 2:40 of the game. Ironi's only lead of the game was by 2 points and lasted 11 seconds, and even though the two teams were evenly matched, three-pointers were the key.
Strasbourg made 7-of-20, at 35 percent not exactly an eye popping volume, but still more than enough to look hot compared to Ironi's 5-of-23 from the same distance.
Phil Booth scored 18 points off the bench for the winning side, Invernizzi's game sealing three sent him to 13 points, with 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Leo Cavaliere and Paul Lacombe got 12 points apiece.
Isaiah Whitehead and Jerome Meyinsse scored 30 points for Ness Ziona in a losing effort.
A team from France now has a team from Spain as the final hurdle in this sprint in Turkiye, after Monbus Obradoiro downed Legia Warszawa 74-66 in the other Semi-Final.
The score was tied at 51-all with ten minutes to play, and Tres Tinkle's three started the crucial charge for Obradoiro.
They held the Polish side to just a single point for two and a half minutes to start the fourth, but Legia did exactly the same to the Spaniards to make it back within one point, 61-60 with five minutes left on the game clock.
The stage was set for Thomas Scrubb to become the game hero, as he drilled back-to-back three-pointers to open up a gap of eight points inside the final two minutes, more than enough to finish this one without drama.
Coach Moncho Fernandez had a capital option in Eric Washington who had a team-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting . Scrubb's late game heroics got him to 16, Jordan Howard with 13 was the only other player in double figures for the winners.
Christian Vital's 17 points kept a lifeline for Warszawa, but they shot just 4-of-14 from the field in the fourth quarter, going cold at the worst possible moment.
Obradoiro have never played the Regular Season of the Basketball Champions League before. The team that wins in the Saturday Final, will join Pinar Karsiyaka, Filou Oostende and EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Regular Season Group E.