Sending a message: Lenovo Tenerife blow out BAL champs to reach another Final
TENERIFE (Spain) - Hosts Lenovo Tenerife led from start to finish against US Monastir, preventing any sort of a surprise in the Semi-Finals. It finished 112-42, sending the 2022 Basketball Champions League winners to their third Final in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
The Spanish side won the trophy in 2017 and 2020, both times in the Santiago Martin Arena. They will look to join Varese and Akron Wingfoots as three-time winners on Sunday. Real Madrid are the only club with more than three titles in this event, having lifted the trophy on five occasions.
Turning point: The first play of the game. It was the usual Tenerife poison, Marcelinho Huertas with the no-look pass and Giorgi Shermadini with the dunk, sending out a message to US Monastir that there will be no foot off the gas for 40 minutes in coach Txus Vidorreta's muscle car.
It was 25-6 by the end of the first quarter, 52-16 at the half, leaving absolutely no hope of a comeback to the BAL champions.
🧙 @Huertas09 saw that Elinho had 10ast in the first game, so he took it personally - he's out the prove he's the best passing 🇧🇷!#IntercontinentalCup I @CB1939Canarias pic.twitter.com/vbvvpMklyT— FIBA Intercontinental Cup (@FIBAIC) February 10, 2023
Game hero: It could've been anybody on the winning team. Sasu Salin knocked down five three-pointers for 15 points, Bruno Fitipaldo and Fran Guerra scored 12, while Giorgi Shermadini needed just 12 minutes to score 10 points and rest for the Final.
But the best player on the day was Tim Abromaitis, counting to a team-high 20 points off the bench in less than 20 minutes of action.
Stats don't lie: Not a lot any team can do when Tenerife shoot 20-of-35 from beyond the arc and dish out 32 assists on 39 field goals.
That's 25 assists for Tenerife in 30 minutes of basketball... 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸! 📘#IntercontinentalCup I @CB1939Canarias pic.twitter.com/9o7TBMc7nf— FIBA Intercontinental Cup (@FIBAIC) February 10, 2023
Bottom line: US Monastir were hoping they could surprise Tenerife at home, but the element of surprise disappeared early on. The Tunisian champs need to hit the refresh button and search for the third spot on the podium against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Sunday. Jerome Randle with 14 and Michael Roll with 11 were the only men in double figures.
Tenerife will face Sao Paulo in the Final. The matchups are looking amazing, Marcelinho against Elinho, Malcolm Miller against Sasu Salin, Tulio Da Silva against Giorgi Shermadini and Marquinhos against Tim Abromaitis.
It's also going to be Txus Vidorreta v Bruno Mortari, a coaching battle gluing you to this one at 19:00 local time (GMT) on Sunday.