21 - 24
September 2023
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Day 3 preview: Two direct battles for a spot in the Final

SINGAPORE (Singapore) - With two days of competition behind us, we already know that the Saturday battles will determine the Sunday's Finalists. Both Groups A and B are going to be decided in head-to-head matchups.

NBA G League Ignite v Sesi Franca (Group A)

Key matchup: Back in April 2005, 22-year-old David Jackson was deciding which Division I school he was going to transfer to, ultimately picking Penn State over Auburn. Meaning, David Jackson was already playing high level basketball when a certain Ron Holland was born in July 2005.

Now, as a true testament to Jackson's longevity and Holland's sky-high potential, they get to face each other, because the 41-year-old David Jackson is still Sesi Franca's go-to guy, while 18-year-old Ron Holland led the charge for NBA G League Ignite in their first game in Singapore.

Jackson had 22 points to help Franca defeat Al Ahly by 20, and Holland scored 15 to keep Ignite close to the Egyptian side until the end.

That means that Al Ahly, standing at 1-1 with a -14 point differential cannot win the group, no matter what happens on Saturday. Holland and Ignite need to chase a win by 14 or more, which would take them to 1-1 and +8 or better, and book a ticket to the Final on Sunday.

Any kind of win would do for Jackson and Franca to send them to the Final. Even a defeat of up to 12 points would be good enough to protect their first spot in the group.

If the game finishes with a 13-point win for Ignite, the team with more points scored would finish first. Sesi Franca had 90, NBA G League Ignite scored 76 in their first games.

X factors: Lucas Dias is a club legend over there in Franca, and his 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in the first game were a strong statement that he's in a mood to mess up the plans for everybody else.

Tyler Smith could be matched up with him, and judging by his 18 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, he's ready for that kind of a challenge.

The battle for paint points could also be a crucial factor. Ignite struggled against Al Ahly's big guys, while Franca made 20-of-28 two-pointers against the same opponent.

How to watch: The game tips off at 15:00 local time in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which is 03:00 eastern time in the United States, and also 04:00 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The game will be broadcasted live on NBA TV for those living in the United States and Canada. The rest of the world can look for their respective rights holders or switch to Courtside 1891 and YouTube for streaming.

Team links:

- Ignite lose their first game

- Meet the team: Ignite's NBA Draft prospects

- Franca statement win over Al Ahly

- Meet the team: Last dance for Georginho

Zhejiang Golden Bulls v Telekom Baskets Bonn (Group B)

Key matchup: No need for calculators in this one. Both the Zhejiang Golden Bulls and Telekom Baskets Bonn have defeated Al Manama, and enter the game with 1-0 records. Meaning, the winner of this game also wins the group and advances to the championship game on Sunday.

Jarmar Gulley was in fine form for the Golden Bulls against Al Manama, scoring 15 points with 4 assists in just 19 minutes of work, and the guard will have to do more of the same, plus defending against the engine of this Bonn offense.

That's because Harald Frey is now running the show for the Basketball Champions League winners. The Norwegian lefty point guard had 11 points and 6 assists, and Bonn were a +24 team during his 22 minutes on the floor against Al Manama.

Whoever wins that matchup will be that closer to winning the game.

X factors: Zhejiang got major contribution from their guards, with Qian Wu and Wenbo Lu combining for 22 points on 5-of-9 shooting from deep against Al Manama.

That sounds impressive only until you realize that Sam Griesel went 6-of-9 from three-point range by himself in Bonn's first game versus the same opponent.

Outside shooting could be the deciding factor, whoever wins the shooting battle will be that much closer to winning the group, too.

How to watch: The game tips off at 19:00 local time in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which is also 19:00 in Zhejiang, China, where Tencent is broadcasting the game. Fans in Germany can watch the game on Magenta Sport, tipping off at 13:00 CET.

Team links:

- Zhejiang sailing towards first win

- Meet the team: High scoring as a priority for Golden Bulls

- Bonn on cruise control

- Meet the team: New look BCL champs