01 November, 2022
21 May, 2023
36 Ernestas Matulevič (VILN)
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Seven takeaways from Day 3: Semis set - Tofas vs. Jerusalem; Igokea vs. Rytas

BURSA (Turkey) - Three days are in the books and we have reached the Semi-Finals of the inaugural Youth Basketball Champions League. In Friday's two big games, Igokea m:tel will take on BC Rytas; and hosts Tofas SC square off with Hapoel Jerusalem.

If you missed any of the Day 3 action in Bursa, you can watch all the games on demand here, and below are the seven biggest takeaways from another full day of basketball.

#1 - Top four teams reach Semi-Finals

From the start of action on Day 1, it seemed like the four Semi-Finals teams were destined to decide who will claim the trophy for the first Youth Basketball Champions League. There are no real surprises as both hosts Tofas SC and Igokea m:tel went undefeated through the group stage. And BC Rytas and Hapoel Jerusalem suffered just one loss along the way. Only two wins separate one of these four teams from ultimate glory.

#2 - Rytas bend but don't break against Tenerife 

BC Rytas secured their ticket to the Semi-Finals by fending off Lenovo Tenerife 68-60 - thanks to first some hot three-point shooting and then some timely baskets.

Rytas struggled out of the gates dealing with Tenerife's inside duo of Mohamed Sangare and Babel Yitu Lipasi and fell behind 18-8. The Lithuanians started knocking down three-pointers and surged ahead by 15 points early early in the second half with the lead growing to as many as 16 points to start the fourth quarter. Tenerife multiple times got to within 9 points but Rytas each time came up with a big score.

Nojus Kuliesa

Nojus Kuliesa netted 18 points with 6 assists, Dziugas Remeiklis hit 4 three-pointers for 17 points and Paulius Rapolis chipped in 14 rebounds and 3 blocks to push Rytas to 3-1 in Group B. Sangare finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds and Lipasi had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. But they were not enough with the islanders falling to 1-3 and will play in the 5-8 Classification. 

#3 Jerusalem show mettle in thrilling win over Oostende

Hapoel Jerusalem did not mess around with any tiebreakers as they won a thriller with Oostende CORETEC Basketball Academy 83-79 to reach the Semi-Finals with a 3-1 mark in Group A. In a game that featured 16 lead changes, Yonathan Abouloff nailed the dagger three-pointer with 49 seconds left to make it a 7-point game.

Yonathan Abouloff hit the dagger three-pointer to secure the win

Roe Avneri continued his outstanding tournament with 22 points including 5 three-pointers and 10 rebounds to lead Jerusalem, who could have lost and still finished second in the group. Abouloff hit 4 three-pointers to finish with 21 points and Yair Yadin chipped in 11 points and 7 assists. Jarne Elouna had 18 points to pace five players in double figures for Oostende, who ended group play with a 1-3 record.

#4 - Igokea just doing their thing unchallenged

Igokea m:tel remained perfect at the YBCL as they eased to a comfortable 92-73 victory over Hapoel Jerusalem to take top honors in Group A with a 4-0 mark. The Bosnia and Herzegovina side was never challenged in the final three quarters and extended the cushion to as many as 22 points.

Igokea utterly dominated the paint - taking the rebounds 49-28 with 21 offensive rebounds for a 25-7 margin in second chance points. Igokea also had 44 points in the paint to 18 for Jerusalem and turned 16 Jerusalem turnovers into 21 points.


Dusan Makitan was a force inside and out with 33 points on 13-of-16 shots including 5 three-pointers to go with 13 rebounds. Andrej Acimovic poured in 20 points and Ognjen Stankovic chipped in 9 points and 8 assists.

Jerusalem did knock down 15 three-pointers but they only made 12 2-pointers, and the team could not manage enough offense. Roe Avneri hit 6 three-pointers for 22 points and Yonathan Abouloff added 20 points in the loss, which dropped the team to 2-1.

Roe Avneri


 #5 Rested Tofas avoid slip-up against Cinderella Herzliya

Tofas SC avoided a mis-step in their final group game as they took care of business with a 99-68 win over Bnei Herzliya. The hosts already led by 11 points at halftime and never looked back against Herzliya, who shocked Lenovo Tenerife on Day 2. Tofas, who remained undefeated at 4-0, came into the game having already locked up first place in Group B and Herzliya could not reach the Semi-Finals.


Omer Alp Engin hit a team-high 21 points off the bench with Cam Kucukozkan scoring 15 points. None of Tofas' starters played more than 19 minutes as head coach Cem Akdag had a chance to rest them for the up-coming Semi-Finals. Kuzma Goncharov had 19 points to lead Herzliya, who had a 1-3 record in group action.

#6 - Ludwigsburg improvement earns first win, much to Tenerife's liking

Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg had been steadily getting better over the first three games, but came up short each time. The German side finally picked up their first victory as they knocked off Bnei Herzliya 82-69 in Group B.

Abdulhay Komurkara

Lukas Modic scored 21 points and Abdulhay Komurkara added 19 points and 8 rebounds. The rebounds was a major story of the game with Ludwigsburg grabbing 63 boards to 33 for the Israeli side. And the 25 offensive rebounds led to a 19-9 advantage in second chance points. Ariel Shamri netted 14 points to pace Herzliya, who dropped to 1-2.

The Ludwigsburg win was a much-welcomed sight for Lenovo Tenerife, who famously were shocked by Herzliya in the final game in Group B on Day 2. If Herzliya had won, then chances were high there would be a three-way tie in the group - with Herzliya, Tenerife and BC Rytas - and Tenerife would have to beat Rytas later Day 3 by 14 points to grab the second spot in the group (should hosts Tofas SC knock off Herzliya in the last game of the group). With the Ludwigsburg win, Tenerife only needed to defeat Rytas to clinch a spot in the Semi-Finals. 

#7 - Murcia talent shines through over Nymburk 

UCAM Murcia COC Oftalmologia were just too talented as the Spanish side used a big second half to register a 76-65 victory over Basketball Academy Nymburk for a second win in Group A. The game was tight for the entire first 20 minutes before Murcia went on a 20-8 third quarter surge to pull ahead and a 10-2 start to the fourth quarter run ended any doubts.

Conrad Klotz

Conrad Klotz led the way for Murcia with 20 points while Fabian Flores picked up 19 points and 9 rebounds and Sekou Traore contributed 8 points and 12 rebounds. Nymburk completed group play without a win despite Peter Kovacik scoring 19 points and Melichar Bastar tallying 10 points and 12 rebounds.