Joe Thomasson hands Final Four ticket to Manresa

2022-04-12T22:33:39+00:00 2022-04-12T23:45:25+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

12/Apr/22 22:33

First Basketball Champions League Final Four berth for Baxi Manresa

By Johnny Askounis/

Much tighter than Game 1 but Baxi Manresa doubled up against Unicaja with a 91-89 victory to sweep the Basketball Champions League Quarterfinals best-of-three series Tuesday evening.

Dayton-born Joe Thomasson logged his only two fourth-quarter points with one second left in Game 2. Forced to create for himself, he sank the game-winning mid-range jumper to break the 89-89 tie. The former Wright State standout finished with 14 points in Malaga’s Palacio Municipal.

On the receiving end of a 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter, the players guided by Pedro Martinez responded to clinch a berth in the Final Four for the first time in team history. They stormed back from an eight-point deficit, the biggest lead of the night for the hosts. The best offensive team of the Champions League notched its sixth win in the last seven games across all competitions.

Chima Moneke banked in a game-high 24 points, including 15 in the middle quarters. French teammate Sylvain Francisco produced five of his 17 points in the last quarter, including a tough three-pointer to knot the ACB rivals at 89 points with 36.3 seconds left. Dani Garcia (leg) and Guillem Jou (Achilles tendon surgery) stayed on the injury list.

Bowing out of the BCL, Spanish Jonathan Barreiro registered a season-best 21 points for the team coached by Ibon Navarro. French Axel Bouteille had 13 points and American Matt Mooney ended up with 12 points.

The Malaga team will now seek a place in the Playoffs of the Spanish League. At 12-15, it is a three-game distance from the top eight spots leading to the ACB postseason.

Postgame press conference:

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League