Bonn win 65-72 against Hapoel Holon to take tiebreaker advantage in Group F of the BCL

06 Dec 2023

  • Bonn edge out Holon comeback to win 65-72 at the Arena Riga.
  • → Holon's three-point shooting failed for the first time in 23-24 BCL.
  • → Flagg, Sengfelder, and Kirkwood combine for 36 to fuel Bonn win in Riga.
  • → Tiebreaker now favors Bonn, as Holon won the reverse fixture with 2-point margin.

A crucial win for Telekom Baskets Bonn at the Arena Riga, in a low-scoring affair where Savion Flagg, Christian Sengfelder, and Noah Kirkwood all scored 12 points to get the road win for Bonn. 

For the Israeli side, CJ Harris struggled with 2/12 from the field, as Holon sorely missed Amine Noua, who recently left for BCL team Derthona Tortona.

Defense over offense

In a nervous ballgame where the visitors led for 33 minutes, defense was the deciding factor: 13 turnovers forced by current BCL champions Bonn broke any kind of offensive flow for Hapoel Holon. Bonn were in fine pickpocketing form with 10 steals to set the tone on the defensive half. 

Three-point shooting, Hapoel Holon’s main strength during their 23-24 BCL campaign, failed Amit Schaerf’s team: the Israelis only shot 5/28, an abysmal 17.86%, from downtown. Holon’s previous 3-point % over 4 games was a BCL-leading 46%. 

Roel Moors’ players were great at shutting down perimeter looks for Hapoel Holon, who were not able to devise a backup plan should their three-pointers not fall. The result is a 7-point defeat that gives Bonn the tiebreaker advantage and hugely complicates first-place chances for the Israeli. 

CJ Harris and teammates looked poised for yet another comeback Basketball Champions League win when they briefly got ahead at the end of the third quarter when Shawn Dawson converted Niv Misgav’s pass to make a three with 1:25 to go (55-52). 

The home lead was short-lived, however, as Brian Fobbs drove all the way with a layup, starting a 9-0 run that got Telekom Baskets Bonn back in the driving seat, both for their trip to Riga and for their Group F destiny.

Bonn travel to Lugo on December 20 to face Rio Breogan, while Holon will stay at the Riga Arena, where they host Bursaspor to fight for the top.