By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Lasting Basketball Champions League original and inaugural champion, Lenovo Tenerife became the first team to reach the 100-game mark on Wednesday evening.
The Spanish team based in San Cristobal de La Laguna combined the milestone with the fourth win in as many Round of 16 Group L outings. The only side marching to 4-0 is one more win away from clinching a berth to the Quarterfinals.
Canadian Kyle Wiltjer starred in the latest victory pouring a game-high 23 points against Falco Szombathely. He eclipsed the 20-point mark for the second Champions League game in a row after being held to just one 20-point performance over his previous 11 appearances. Following the Gameday 4 fixture, he credited his wife for both the win and his own contribution revealing the importance of pregame pancakes.
“Before the game, I did my pregame nap. And I usually have pregame pancakes every morning. And I forgot to have pancakes this morning,” he explained during the postgame press conference, “My wife actually woke me up and made me have my pregame pancakes. So, I feel like we got this win because of the pregame pancakes. I appreciate my wife for doing that. She is my rock. She takes care of my baby when I am not around. I am very grateful for that.”
“It’s a secret recipe,” he responded to an inquiry on the pancakes, “If I gave that out, everyone would score 20 points. So, I got to keep that a secret.”
Head coach Txus Vidorreta enjoying a blowout after a tight first half opposite the Hungary champions led the team to its 75th win in FIBA’s top European club continental competition. No other side has won more than 60 games through the six seasons. The winning percentage set at 75% is the highest among teams with more than 40 games played.
“I think if we continue to play unselfish, we can win a championship. That’s our goal,” added Wiltjer looking forward to piling up more wins in the bottom end of the 2021-22 campaign, “At the end of the day, we will try to do our best and live with that.”
Teammate Marcelo Huertas dished out nine more assists versus Falco, recorded a game-high, and raised his BCL total to 302. The Brazilian guard sits third in the all-time list trailing Tamir Blatt’s 306. First-placed Dusan Djordjevic is up to 334 and remains active with Filou Oostende in the Round of 16.
Tenerife is set to visit Rytas Vilnius next Tuesday and host SIG Strasbourg on March 23 to wrap up the double-legged round-robin schedule of the four-team group. One win in any of the remaining contests would be enough to avoid a potentially unfavorable three-way tie and advance to the next round.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League