02 October, 2023
24 April, 2024
53 Kevin Yebo (NIN)
Game Report
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NINERS strike first in Finals with double-digit home win

CHEMNITZ (Germany) - NINERS Chemnitz led from start to finish as they drew first blood in the FIBA Europe Cup Finals with an 85-74 win over Bahcesehir College in front of a sold-out home crowd of 5000 at Messe Chemnitz.

However, Bahcesehir has come back from first-leg deficits in their two previous rounds, so they will head back home to Istanbul with the confidence that they can overcome this 11-point deficit.

DeAndre Lansdowne led six NINERS players in double figures with 16 points, supported by 13 from Wesley Van Beck, while Axel Bouteille hit a game-high 25 for Bahcesehir.

Turning Point: After a closely fought first quarter, NINERS turned it up by scoring 10 points in the final two minutes. Van Beck started the outburst with a three-pointer off the feed from Jonas Richter, followed by a score from Kaza Kajami-Keane.

From there, NINERS started the second period with a 6-0 run, which ultimately hurt Bahcesehir and was the catalyst for their first-leg defeat - opening up a gap as large as 17 points.

It was still a 15-point gap with under three minutes to play, but Bahcesehir picked up some potentially vital points from the foul line, and even had the chance to cut their arrears into single games, but missed a three-pointer on the final possesion.

Game Heroes: It was a well-balanced scoring effort by the German side with six players in double figures for scoring, but the standout was the evergreen DeAndre Lansdowne, who shot 58 per cent from the field for his 16 points; he also amassed 7 rebounds and 8 assists.

Stats Don’t Lie: Despite hitting 33 of their 36 free throws in the game - more than any team has in the FIBA Europe Cup - Bahcesehir couldn’t execute from the field, shooting just 35 percent, while NINERS shot a solid 47 percent and their depth shone with 48 points off the bench - compared to 7 from the visitors.

Bottom Line: 
It was another impressive performance from the NINERS and they did what they wanted to do: win, and give themselves a nice cushion to take into the second leg - although the job is far from over.

Bahcesehir fought back from a 10-point deficit to beat FC Porto in the Quarter-Finals, and they trailed by one point against Itelyum Varese in the Semi-Finals. Now, they must do it all again next Wednesday if they are to call themselves FIBA Europe Cup champions for a second time.