BCL 23-24 Wrap: Malaga’s redemption, best games, players, and coach from the Basketball Champions League

08 May 2024

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After the heartbreaking loss in the Basketball Champions League 22-23 Final Four on home soil, Unicaja redeemed themselves with a resounding win in the 23-24 Belgrade Final Four.

In one of these poetic moments only basketball can gift you, Kendrick Perry was the Final Four MVP, after being the one to miss the game-winning shot in the Malaga Final Four only last year.

Relive Kendrick Perry's redemption in the Basketball Champions League final highlights.

Let’s relive together another incredible season of Basketball Champions League through the lens of Courtside 1891.

Basketball Champions League 23-24 MVP: Marcelinho Huertas

Marcelinho Huertas is the 2023-24 Basketball Champions League MVP. The former Los Angeles Laker is (unsurprisingly) the oldest player to lift the prized award at 40 years old, and he is actually older than any of the previous 7 winners are today.

His MVP award, however, is more than deserved: Marcelinho averaged 16.4 points per game (just outside top 5) and 7.9 assists per game, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.07 (4th in the league).

He also made top 5 for clutchness and top 15 for plus/minus. In short, an MVP-caliber season, unfortunately ended in disappointment with the loss in the final against Unicaja.

The Liga Endesa all-time assist leader added another piece to the puzzle of his amazing career: will we see him get another shot at a BCL title in the 24-25 season?

We certainly hope so.

Basketball Champions League 23-24 Coach of the Year: Vassilis Spanoulis

One year older than Marcelinho but equally legendary on the court, Vassilis Spanoulis hanged his boots at the Piraeus in 2021.

Since then, he has rapidly transitioned into an elite international coach. At only his second season in charge of Peristeri bwin, Kill Bill has managed to secure the Greek side’s best-ever BCL showing.

It was not always like that, as Peristeri started the season in defeat against Le Mans, before being rolled over by Unicaja as well.

The Greeks showed resilience however, knocking out 22-23 champions Bonn with a game 3 on the road, led by Joe Ragland and an impeccable Trevor Thompson.

This was enough for V-Span to secure the 23-24 Coach of the Year award at 42, a feat only achieved by Roel Moors (Antwerp) and Lisalo (Bonn).

Rumor has it Spanoulis will stick with Peristeri bwin for another year. Will we see more from him in the 24-25 Basketball Champions League?

Basketball Champions League 2023-24 Young Player of the Year: Tidjane Salaün

Another product of the Espoirs in Cholet, young Tidjane Salaün was a no-brainer for the Best Young Player Award.

Coming from a family with basketball in their DNA (his sister Janelle is a French international), young Tidjane impressed for Cholet, averaging 10.1 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.

His length, defensive versatility, and a 7’2 wingspan have piqued the interest of numerous NBA scouts, and it looks like Tidjane Salaün will be headed for the NBA draft.

The Cholet forward is projected to land between Pick 10 and 25, with some insiders not ruling out a top-5 pick for the Frenchman.

At 18 years old only, Salaün has been able to produce for Cholet: his best performance came at La Meilleraie, where the forward excelled with a team-high 24 points on 22 efficiency.

Following 2016-17 BCL Player of the year Furkan Korkmaz and Houston Rockets’ Alperen Sengun, Tidjane will be the next one in line for a future in the NBA.

Basketball Champions League 2023-24 Best Game: AEK Betsson – Hapoel Holon 108-112 (After 3 OT)

A triple overtime game does not happen every day. AEK BETSSON BC had their backs against the wall as Hapoel Holon travelled to the Ano Liosia Olympic Hall with a 0-3 record in the Round of 16.

A quickfire start saw the hosts build a 10-point lead early in the game, but Holon aren’t strangers to a comeback: at the start of the 3rd quarter, the visitors were already level.

A layup by Jordan McRae seemed to give AEK the advantage (77-73 with 00:53 to go), but  Drew Crawford and Tahjere McCall tied to send the ballgame to overtime.

It took 3 Overtimes (1st time since 2017) to settle the game, with Mindaugas Kuzminzskas scoring 19 of his 40(!!) points in overtime.

AEK looked sure to win it in the second overtime (100-90 with 01:53 to go), but Holon showed resilience again, tying the game with two Misgav Free Throws with six seconds to go.

It was still Misgav that decided the game with 4 free throws in the last 14 seconds of the third overtime, securing the win after 2 hours and 45 minutes of action in Athens.