By Stefan Djordjevic/ email@example.com
Lenovo Tenerife entered the game against SIG Strasbourg as the big favorite to not only get out of this matchup but also go all the way. However, the French team had other plans and got an 88-86 come-from-behind win to eliminate the opposition.
Brandon Jefferson was leading the charge for the victors with 22 points including a few three-pointers which came in crucial moments. He dished out six assists but what the basic stats don’t show is how much space he created by forcing double teams and dishing out passes to the heart of the paint.
Ishmail Wainright was right behind with big shots of his own, 19 points, and huge hustle on the defensive side until the very end despite being in foul trouble down the stretch. DeAndre Lansdowne added 11 and Jaromir Bohacik ten points.
It was precisely Jefferson and Wainright that made two three-pointers one after another at the two-minute mark in the overtime, pushing Strasbourg to 84-79 and the win.
“They’re a great team, they threw a lot at us and we were prepared, we made shots. Brandon is an awesome player. He’s short but he has heart. They took Bonzie (Colson) out of the game a little bit but multiple people stepped up and took care of business,” Wainright said and added.
“If you look at the previous six games, I don’t think I made a three. Got into a slump but my teammates encouraged me, kept coming to me and it felt good to make it in a moment like that.”
For Tenerife, Santi Yusta and Aaron Doornekamp scored 16 each in addition to Giorgi Shermadini’s 19. Marcelinho Huertas continued his great playmaking with ten assists to go with his 18 points.
The Spaniards had a better start thanks to the triangle offense and great ball movement which opened up some additional space for Santi Yusta who banked in 14 points in the first half to give Tenerife a 44-34 advantage.
Strasbourg, however, produced a true team effort after the break and with an 11-0 run midway through the third quarter, took over the lead (55-54) for the first time since early in the game and pushed the game into overtime, where they eventually prevailed in a close finish.
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“We had a really good first half but they came back in the third quarter with offensive rebounds, we didn’t control it and it was the key factor in the game,” Tenerfie’s Yusta explained.
Strasbourg advanced to the semifinals where they will face off against the winner of the duel between Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon and the reigning champions Hereda San Pablo Burgos.
“I think we really need to step up even more individually tomorrow because it’s going to be a tough game, in 24 hours or something,” Bohacik noted in front of the semis.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League