Basketball Championsleague week three recap

Dinamo Sassari used a monumental third-quarter display to turn the tables on Iberostar Tenerife and go top of Group B, while over in Group C, a Keith Langford-inspired AEK denied Hapoel Holon in a mouth-watering clash. Tsmoki Minsk won the battle of BCL debutants against Cholet.

Here’s a closer look at all three Week 3 games that took place on Wednesday:

Dinamo Sassari 92-72 Iberostar Tenerife 

Dinamo Sassari outscored Iberostar Tenerife 29-7 in the third quarter. Perhaps that was the Italian team’s most impressive 10-minute display in their BCL history. It helped them clinch a 92-72 comeback victory at home and sole possession of the top spot in Group B, with two wins in as many games.

Nobody could predict such a turn of events in the first half, when Bruno Fitipaldo poured in 15 points in the opening quarter alone and an Alex Lopez layup right before the 9-minute mark in the second frame gave Tenerife a double-digit lead, 28-18

The Spanish team went into the interval holding a comfy 9-point lead, but Sassari returned from the locker rooms guns blazing and started the period on a 19-2 run.

Marco Spissu hit back-to-back threes, the second with 6:39 left in the frame, for Sassari to jump ahead 51-49, and the Italian team never looked back again, as they held their foot on the gas and stretched the gap to as many as 26 points in the final quarter.

The hosts forced 20 Tenerife turnovers and scored 17 points off them, while the Italians committed only 8 turnovers of their own.

Justin Tillman had 21 points and 6 rebounds, Miro Bilan finished with 18 points and 8 boards, while Spissu scored almost all of his 14 points in the second half and added 15 assists to post a double-double. Meanwhile, Fitipaldo finished with 21 points in a losing effort.

AEK 100-96 Hapoel Holon 

Once again, Keith Langford came up big in the clutch, and AEK outgunned Hapoel Holon 100-96 in what was the BCL season opener for both teams and perhaps the most entertaining game so far in the 2020-21 BCL season.

AEK raced to a 12-point lead right off the gate, but Holon started the second frame on an 11-1 run to jump ahead. Isaiah Miles knocked down a triple 6:19 from halftime to give the visitors their biggest lead of the night, 38-27.

The hosts, though, balanced proceedings before the interval, and the two sides traded punches during the entire third frame.

AEK appeared to be making some progress when they opened up an 86-79 gap halfway through the fourth, but Guy Pnini hit back-to-back triples, and Tyrus McGee also drilled a three to reduce the deficit to 89-88.

But Langford, never one to shy away from a fight, knocked down a step-back trey 20 seconds from the final buzzer to stretch AEK’s lead to 98-94, and Pnini missed a contested layup on the other end for the Greek side to celebrate victory in their season premiere.

Langford finished with a game-high 30 points on 12 of 18 shooting from the floor and added 3 boards and 3 assists, Yanick Moreira collected a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards, and Nikos Gkikas had 15 points and 9 assists.

C.J. Harris finished with 27 points for Holon while Chris Johnson and Pnini each had 14 in losing efforts.

FIBA Championsleague recap

Tsmoki Minsk 82-75 Cholet

Tsmoki Minsk stifled Cholet’s offense, and the Belarus champions had a triumphant BCL premiere with an 82-75 home win. Their French opponent was also playing its maiden game in the competition.

Cholet shot just 36 percent from the field in the first half and barely improved in the second, as they finished on 26 of 70 shooting (37.1 percent).

Maksim Salash made two free-throws right at the 8-minute mark in the second quarter to cap off a 9-0 Minsk burst bridging the first two quarters to lift the hosts to a 26-17 lead.

The Belarus team led by as many as 14 points shortly before the halftime buzzer, but Cholet fought back after the break, and Michael Stockton drilled a trey from the corner to reduce the deficit to six points, 56-50.

However, Andrei Rahozenka knocked down a triple with the start of the final quarter to instigate another Minsk burst, and Rob Lowery made it an 18-point game, 74-56, with just over seven minutes left to play.

Salash finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds, Lowery had a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards, while Kris Clyburn chipped in with 19 points and 3 steals.

For Cholet, who traveled to Minsk without Vafessa Fofana and the newly departed Chancey Collins, Gregor Hrovat had 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in defeat.

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