Willie Cauley-Stein stars Varese in the BCL Qualification, Dolphins and Benfica in the final

2023-09-27T17:40:54+00:00 2023-09-27T22:22:27+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

27/Sep/23 17:40


The former NBA center sent Varese to the semifinals of the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers Tournament 2

By Eurohoops Team / info@eurohoops.net

Producing a 24-11 run in the fourth quarter to come back into the game, Pallacanestro Varese survived the official debut in the Basketball Champions League Qualification Rounds Tournament 2 against FMP Meridian, beating the Serbian team 73-71 at the buzzer in front of Luis Scola.

Coming to the Italian team in the summer, Olivier Hanlan was the hero for Thomas Michael Bialaszewski’s team, scoring the decisive layup as part of his 13 points during the game.

The former NBA center Willie Cauley-Stein was crucial with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds – with 6 blocks – in his first-ever European game. Moreover, Sean McDermott added 17 points.

On FMP Meridian’s side, Bojan Subotic went close to a double-double with 13 points and 8 rebounds, while the highest scorer on the Serbian team coached by Nenad Stefanovic was Aleksa Stepanovic, who had 15 points off the bench with 2/2 from three.

Previously during the day, Cholet Basket – who lost the 2023 FIBA Europe Cup in the final against Anwil Wloclawek – managed to take down the Telenet Antwerp Giants 76-72, meeting the Italian team in the semifinal.

For the French team, the 18-year-old forward Tidjane Salaun dropped a career-high 24 points with 8/13 from the field including 4/8 from beyond the arc, followed by Neal Sako’s 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks off the bench. Rasir Zias Bolton had 20 points and 7 assists in the losing effort.

In the tournament 3 quarterfinals, Happy Casa Brindisi got a big 77-74 win over CSM CSU Oradea.

With the game on the line, Joonas Riismaa stole the ball from Erick Neal, and Jajuan Johnson with two free throws sealed the deal.

Oradea had one last chance to send the game to overtime, but Kris Richard missed his shot. Jamel Morris with 16 points and Johnson with 15 were the top scorers of the winning side. Erick Neal with 12 was the top scorer of Oradea.

In the last game of the day, Heroes Den Bosch beat BG Göttingen 96-84 after getting a solid 53-41 halftime lead and keeping it for the rest of the way.

Roberts Stumbris and Austin Price with 17 points each were the top scorers of the winning side, which will face Brindisi on Friday in the semis.

Dolphins and Benfica for a spot in the regular season

Sweden’s Norrkoping Dolphins prevailed over Denmarks Bakken Bears Aarhus (78-68) with Marcus Tyus scoring 18 points, while Felix Terins and Isaac Vann had a big contribution too with 16 points each.

DeAndre Pinckney and Malik Parsons with 18 and 17 points respectively did their best for the Bears, but the Dolphins led by double-digits for most of the last period and didn’t feel any real pressure on their way to the final of tournament 1.

Their opponent for a spot in the Basketball Champions League regular season will be SL Benfica after beating Cyprus’ Petrolina AEK Larnaca 87-59.

Aaron Broussard with 15 points led a balanced effort as the Portuguese champions never faced any real opposition in the game, despite 18 points by Taveion Hollingsworth.

Benfica will face Norrkoping Dolphins on Friday.

PHOTO CREDIT: Basketball Champions League