Urunani fire on all cylinders against sluggish Tigers
JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - Urunani won the final game of Group A Road To BAL qualifiers Division East on Thursday at the Ellis Park Arena.
The Burundians beat hosts Cape Town Tigers 59-49 to finish top of the group and will head to the Semi-Finals high on confidence.
Urunani subjected the Tigers to a second defeat by a club from Burundi at this stage of the qualifiers. New Star had also beat Tigers in the opening game of the group stages last year.
TURNING POINT: From the first quarter the Urunani played like a team hurting from their defeat against the NBA Academy on Wednesday and the Burundi club took their pain out on the Tigers. The home side were slow out of the starting blocks and chased the game.
GAME HERO: Adonis Filer, who was ejected in the game against the NBA Academy on Wednesday for an unsportsmanlike foul, fired at all cylinders against the Tigers. Filer played like a man possessed as he dropped 27 points.
STATS DON'T LIE: The Burundians forced the Tigers to make mistakes and the South Africans made 26 turnovers and lost the ball 14 times due to steals made by Urunani.
BOTTOM LINE: Urunani will go with confidence into the semi-finals on Saturday, while the Tigers need to beware of letting get away with games.
THEY SAID: "We needed to lift our spirits. We played as a team and not as individuals. We controlled the game and did not adopt a run-and-gun style of play. We expect a tough game against Ferroviario Da Beira on Saturday." - Urunani head coach Inaki Martin Garcia.
"I feel good about the win, but the job is not finished, we still have two more games to play. I am confident can achieve our objective and make Burundi and our fans happy." - Urunani guard Adonis Filer.
"It's not a good feeling. We scored 49 points, but we are team with many attacking threats in the starting five and the bench. We did not deliver. We did also adjust our rotation because Dhieu Deng was out and I had to start. We have to understand this is continental basketball and we can be humbled as every team is trying to go to the BAL. Tonight we got a humbling experience." - Tigers guard Lebesa Selepe.
"I think we started slow, but we already knew we were in the semi-finals so we had to give our rotation minutes. We have Oilers on Saturday and I think player for player we are slightly better. I think we are well-oiled. They play and move the ball well. So we have to execute and take better care of the ball." Tigers head coach Florsheim Ngwenya.