BCL Week 4 Recap - Unicaja remain undefeated, Cholet triumph in Istanbul
Darüssafaka Lassa v Cholet Basket 80-91 Game Recap
Cholet secure their first away win in the Basketball Champions League at the expense of previously undefeated Darüssafaka Lassa, and doing so in a commanding fashion, leading right from the start till the end of the game.
The visitors made their intentions clear as they started the first quarter 18-26, with their offense ignited by Enzo Goudou-Sinha, author of 17 points at the Volkswagen arena. The visitors were absolute dominators in the paint, winning the rebound battle 23-45, and grabbing 18 offensive boards, converted in a staggering 27 points for the night.
The French side were better on fast break points too, as Vojtech Hruban secured four steals to ignite Cholet's transition offfense. He added 16 points to Goudou-Sinha's 17, at a +24 efficiency. Korkmaz and Allman Jr tried to get the home team back in the game and secured a 50-51 lead towards the half of the third quarter, but Cholet pulled away and came out victorious.
This now makes 2-1 for Cholet and Darüssafaka Lassa, who will watch the game in Tenerife to find out if a three-team tie will materialize.
Darüssafaka Lassa v Cholet Basket Game Highlights
Relive the action from the Volkswagen arena with the Darüssafaka Lassa v Cholet Basket Game Highlights
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg vs Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 79-89 Recap
With their backs against a wall after a stuttering start in the 2024 Basketball Champions League, Dinamo Sassari secure a vital win for their BCL hopes in Ludwigsburg, where they led for 29 minutes of the game, allowing the home side one quarter before taking control of the contest.
During another game where board domination and bench performance have proved crucial, the home side have the better start, led by usual suspect Jayvon Graves and building a 6-point lead early in the first quarter. Sassari were not ready to give up though, and took the lead at the turn of the first quarter. The Sardinians would never let their lead go again throughout the night.
Alfonzo McKinnie was a presence, grabbing 12 rebounds and closing the double-double with 13 points behind 5/5 from the field. Sassari were also extremely clinical from the free-throw line, converting a staggering 17/17 from the charity stripe. To find a better performance, you need to go back to December 2022, when Hapoel Holon scored all of their 18 free throws against Legia Warszawa (per Opta Facts).
McKinnie was supported by Tyree (14 points) and Gombauld (18 points, 7/9 from the field and 4/4 FT). Graves' 22 and Polas' 15 weren't enough for MHP to come back. Group D is now wide-open with two teams at 1-2 waiting for the game in Szczecin to see the final hierarchies after Gameday 3.
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg vs Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari Highlights
Missed the action? Catch the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg vs Dinamo Sassari highlights (free with a Plus account).
Unicaja vs Peristeri bwin 81-64 Recap
Unicaja look like the team to beat after they easily see off Peristeri bwin at the Palacio de Deportes in a concerted team effort. Starting strong, the hosts took the lead to double digits at the first siren (26-15) and pulled away to +18 throughout the second quarter. The Andalusians' bench was also on fire, outscoring Spanoulis' players 44-27.
For the home side, there really weren't standout performers - every teammate played their role perfectly - and only three players reached double figures (Dedovic and Sima 11, Ejim 10). The visitors couldn't get closer than 7 points in the third quarter, and Unicaja's lead ballooned to 19 points (64-45) before the final 10'.
Malaga secure their 7th consecutive win in all competitions and keep Jaylen Hands (4/16 from the field) at bay. Most importantly, they look like seriously good candidates to go all the way in the BCL, after having their party spoiled at home in the Final Four last season.
Unicaja vs Peristeri bwin Game Highlights
Rewatch the action from the Palacio de Deportes with Unicaja-Peristeri Game Highlights.
Le Mans Sarthe Basket vs Falco Vulcano Szombathely 63-81 Recap
Here goes the upset of the week in Le Mans, where Hungarian champions Falco Szombathely end a 7-game losing streak on the road to take an unexpected game and reignite their BCL hopes. Szombathely were just too much for Le Mans from start to finish, in a game that was close for the first two quarters before the visitors were able to pull away in the third.
Matt Lewis tried to keep the French side in the game, finishing the night on 17 points, but a strong third quarter by the Hungarians, propelled by Marcell Pongo's 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists nights, ensured the visitors entered the final 10 minutes with a 10-point cushion.
Zoltan Perl, Szombathely's bench specialist, added 17 points, making it 451 points off the bench in his BCL career. This makes him the player with the 2nd most points from the bench in the BCL (per Opta). Matt Tiby and Antonio Jordano also contributed for Falco Szombathely's win, adding 13 and 12 points respectively and pulling away in the fourth quarter for what is their 2nd largest BCL win on the road ever.
Le Mans Sarthe Basket vs Falco Vulcano Szombathely Game Highlights
Relive the upset at the Antares with the Le Mans Sarthe Basket vs Falco Vulcano Szombathely game highlights.
Telekom Baskets Bonn – Rio Breogan 86-71 Game Recap & Highlights
A night to remember for BCL holders Telekom Baskets Bonn. They started with a banner-raising ceremony to celebrate last year's BCL title. Then, they hit the court and dominated Rio Breogan, winning 86-71.
Brian Fobbs was on fire, dropping 21 points. Glynn Watson wasn't far behind, with 20 points, six boards, and four dimes. He racked up a PIR of 22. For Breogan, Matej Rudan led with 16 points. Ex-NBA player Justin Anderson kicked off his BCL journey with 11 points.
The first half was all Bonn, finishing 47-25. Breogan tried to claw back, but Bonn's early lead was too much. The game ended with Bonn's 7-0 run, sealing their second win.
Stats wise, it was a messy one. Breogan's 42 field goal attempts were a BCL low (per Opta). Both teams combined for 51 turnovers, tying the league's all-time high (per Opta). Plus, Bonn's 29 fouls were their most ever in a BCL game.
Bonn tops Group F now. Next, they face Bursa at home. Breogan looks to bounce back against Hapoel Holon.
Telekom Baskets Bonn - Rio Breogan Highlights
Enjoy Bonn's historical celebration night with the Telekom Baskets Bonn vs Rio Breogan Game Highligths
King Szczecin - AEK Betsson BC 77-86 Game Recap
AEK Betsson BC's trip to Poland had a clear mission: to notch a third consecutive win to start their BCL season, a feat they last accomplished in the 2020/21 season. They achieved this with a 77-86 victory over King Szczecin, being in the lead for 24 minutes and never giving it up in the 2nd half.
Chasson Randle, 11th player by PIE in the BCL after three games, and Justin Tillman spearheaded AEK's charge. Randle racked up 18 points and a team-high PIR of 23, while Tillman notched 17 points and eight rebounds. Ben McLemore and Jordan McRae also put up impressive numbers, contributing to AEK's well-rounded victory.
Szczecin, despite being new to the BCL, showed no signs of backing down. Tony Meier's explosive start and Zac Cuthbertson's near double-double highlighted their resilience. However, AEK's run before the half and their maintenance of a double-digit lead proved too much for the Polish debutants.
Still leading Group D, AEK's form echoes their 2020/21 success. Szczecin will try to get their revenge next, but AEK are aiming to continue their streak, while Szczecin looks to even their record against other Group D contenders.
King Szczecin vs AEK Athens game highlights
Watch AEK's third win with the King Szczecin-AEK Athens game highlights.
Lenovo Tenerife - VEF Riga 76-55 Game Recap
Lenovo Tenerife celebrated a hard-fought victory over VEF Riga, with the scoreboard reading 76-55 at the final buzzer. The win, fueled by a scintillating second-half performance, catapulted them to the top of Group C, neck and neck with Darüssafaka and Cholet but edging out on point differential.
Tenerife's initial sluggishness gave way to a surge in the last five minutes of the first half, ignited by Jaime Fernandez's impact off the bench. Fernandez’s 22 points represent his personal best in 34 BCL games. The Madrid native point guard also became the first player to notch over 20 points and more than 5 assists (7) while starting as a reserve in a BCL matchup.
If Tenerife took advantage of some bench heroics, VEF only scored 16 from the bench to the home side’s 45. The only lead change happened at the tail end of the 2nd half, when Tenerife took control and never let go after the long pause.
Under the guidance of coach Txus Vidorreta, Tenerife's squad showed remarkable adaptability, even without Joan Sastre and Fran Guerra. They stiffened their defense, with Gio Shermadini and Dusan Ristic playing pivotal roles in the paint, and this defensive solidity was a decisive factor in restricting Riga to a mere 19 points after halftime.
Riga will be disappointed to be 0-3, and were hopeful to get a win over the line as they led for largest parts of the 1st half (18 minutes).
Lenovo Tenerife - VEF Riga Game Highlights
Rewatch Jaime Fernandez's off-the bench clinic with the Lenovo Tenerife - VEF Riga game highlights
Hapoel Jerusalem Secures Back-to-Back BCL Wins
Hapoel Jerusalem followed up their Belgrade victory with a commanding 66-84 win over Benfica, overcoming an early deficit and a clock malfunction to advance to a 2-0 group record, with Levi Randolph delivering a standout Basketball Champions League performance.
Read all about it in our SL Benfica - Hapoel Jerusalem Game Recap.