in Group K of Round 16 of the Basketball Champions League U-BT Cluj Napoca handed Filou Oostende an 86-75 defeat in Romania yesterday night. With that victory U-BT Cluj Napoca climbed to 2-0 in their group and extended their win streak to 19 games in all competitions.
The champions of Romania started their season in the BCL Qualifying Rounds, winning all three games there. Cluj are also 17-0 in the Romanian League, with four more wins in the Romanian Cup and another one in the Super Cup, and they went 5-1 in the Regular Season of the BCL, meaning their overall record for the season stands at 32-1.
Turning point: Elijah Stewart and Brandon Brown were amazing all game long, but with a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, they decided to switch through gears for one final push.
They not only switched, they turned turbo on, with both of them getting three-pointers in a quick 8-0 run that made it 67-56.
The Belgian champs weren’t going away that easily, they kept coming back until the three minute mark. It was a six point game, but Brown then dished an assist to Dustin Hogue, before Stewart had a personal 5-0 run to put the game out of Oostende’s reach at +13.
Game heroes: Brown opened up the game with four three-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 25 points and 8 assists on the night. The MVP of December hit 6-of-10 shots from beyond the arc, and only turned the ball once in 32 minutes of action.
Stewart’s 17 points were mostly highlights, including three dunks and three triples, and the club legend Patrick Richard played a massive role with 16 points and 9 assists for coach Mihai Silvasan.
Stats don’t lie: Bench points aren’t exactly Cluj’s strength, but they proved they have a deep squad on Monday, winning the second unit points 28-12.
Bottom line: Cluj have been impressive in 2021-22, leading the group with Unicaja, and the champs of Belgium and Ukraine, Filou Oostende and Prometey.
Meanwhile, Oostende will be happy to get back home after starting their Round of 16 campaign with road games in Malaga and Cluj Napoca. They have a chance to win their first game already on Thursday, when Prometey arrive in Belgium.
Levi Randolph scored 20 points, Phil Booth had 18, Amida Brimah collected 14 with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks.