Sassari and Dijon flawless in Basketball Champions League

Dinamo Sassari were victorious at Bakken Bears and JDA Dijon outlasted Tofas Bursa in overtime to extend their winning streak to three games and stay at the top of their respective group standings.

Elsewhere, reigning Basketball Champions League champions Hereda San Pablo Burgos picked up their first success in the 2020-21 Regular Season with a statement win at home over Happy Casa Brindisi, and ERA Nymburk cruised to victory against debutants Keravnos.

Let’s have a closer look at all four games that pulled down the curtain on Week 5 on Wednesday, the last day of action in the BCL until December.

Sassari and Dijon flawless in basketball champions league

Group B

David Holston drilled two huge triples in crunch time for JDA Dijon to force overtime and go on to outlast Tofas Bursa 87-81 on the road, clinching their third win in as many games in Group B.

With both teams struggling with their shooting during long stretches – Tofas shot 21 percent and Dijon shot 20 percent from downtown during the first half – the hosts won the battle on the glass and had the lead for most of the night, albeit never by more than six points.

Berkan Durmaz drilled two triples in quick succession in the final 1:12 of regulation, each one giving Tofas a three-point lead, which proved short-lived as Holston replied every time with a bucket of his own from downtown.

After Durmaz made it 68-65 for the hosts with 8 seconds left in regulation, Dijon called a timeout and ran a play for Hans Vanwijn to receive the ball down low and kick it out to Holston, who dutifully knocked down the equalizer.

It was enough to send the game to overtime, as Semaj Christon missed an open layup on the other end right at the buzzer.

Dijon had gained momentum, and Axel Julien sunk back-to-back triples the second with 20 seconds left in overtime to secure the win for the French team.

Holston had 6 points in the first 39:33 of the encounter but finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 assists, while Julien had 14 points and 9 assists. Sean Kilpatrick had a game-high 23 points and added 4 rebounds and 4 assists in a losing effort.

Group H

Hereda San Pablo Burgos used a 13-2 third-quarter run to tighten their grip on proceedings and celebrated their first win in the BCL since lifting the 2020 trophy, 93-71 over Happy Casa Brindisi at home.

There was little to separate the two sides during the first stanza, but the reigning BCL champions made their first attempt at creating a significant gap late in the second frame.

Ken Horton knocked down a triple 3:31 from the second buzzer, and Thad McFadden followed up with a layup in transition and a triple of his own to extend a 5-point cushion into a 12-point lead, 49-37, within less than 65 seconds.

But D’Angelo Harrison came back on for Brindisi and made consecutive plays to reduce the deficit to four points by the halftime buzzer – the Italian team’s American star had 16 points, 3 rebounds 3 assists in the first half.

However, the hosts had more arrows in their quiver and a Dejan Kravic jumper 5:13 from the end of the third period instigated the Burgos run that extended a slim 53-49 cushion to a 15-point lead 66-51, on a McFadden triple 2:42 from the third buzzer.

Burgos led by as many as 23 points in the final frame as they scored 21 points off Brindisi’s 15 turnovers, and their bench contributed 39 points, compared with Brindisi’s second unit’s 14 points.

McFadden led five Burgos players in double digits with his 21 points and added 3 assists, while Horton finished with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Harrison finished with a game-high 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in a losing effort.

Group A

Dinamo Sassari led Bakken Bears by as many as 16 points but had to turn back the tenacious Danish champions down the stretch to clinch a 91-84 win on the road and stay atop the Group A standings on a perfect 3-0 record.

Marco Spissu drilled a triple shortly after the start of the second frame to spark an 11-2 Sassari run, which he capped off himself with another trey 7:42 from the end of the period, stretching the Italian team’s lead to 40-29.

Bakken cut the deficit to three points shortly before the halftime buzzer, but when Filip Kruslin sunk a jumper 3:52 from the end of the third period to cap off a 13-4 Dinamo burst and extend their lead to 16 points, 65-49, the visitors must have thought they were in the clear.

The Bears, however, were not going to roll over, and Adama Darboe sunk a triple with the start of the fourth stanza to cut the deficit to 69-63.

Justin Tillman, though, had seen enough, and he scored seven quick-fire points, the last two with a layup 7:48 from the final buzzer, to bring the gap back to 16 points, 79-63.

The visitors held the Danish team at arm’s length the rest of the way as not less than six of their players scored in double digits: Miro Bilan led the way with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Tillman finished with 15 points and 4 boards.

De’Shawn Stephens was excellent for Bakken and he finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds in defeat.

Group B

ERA Nymburk poured in 26 points in the second quarter’s final stretch to pull away from Keravnos and cruised to a 96-69 victory at home, their second win in a row in Group B.

The hosts created their first double-digit lead late in the opening quarter when Retin Obasohan hit back-to-back triples, and Hruban knocked down one of his own to stretch a five-point cushion to a 33-21lead right at the end of the period.

Keravnos scored the first five points in the second frame, but Hayden Dalton drilled a tough turnaround triple at the eight-minute mark and sparked a 26-12 burst by the hosts, which extended Nymburk’s cushion to 21 points, 59-38, at halftime.

Nymburk’s lead never fell to single digits again as the hosts dished 22 assists and had as many as nine of their players writing their name on the scoreboard.

Obasohan paced the Czech team with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Dalton and Hruban finished with 16 points apiece, the latter also dishing 8 assists. Brandon Rozzell led all Keravnos scorers with 15 points and added 5 boards.

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