21 - 24
September 2023
to read

Final preview: BCL Americas winners up against European BCL champs

SINGAPORE (Singapore) - The last game of the tournament will crown a new FIBA Intercontinental Cup champion. The big trophy will either go back to Brazil or make its way to Germany for the first time ever.

How did they get here?

Sesi Franca qualified for the FIBA Intercontinental Cup 2023 Singapore by winning the Basketball Champions League Americas last spring, and then carried on their winning ways in Asia, too.

They defeated Al Ahly 90-70 in their first game in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, then outlasted NBA G League Ignite 98-89 to finish 2-0 and win Group A.

Telekom Baskets Bonn won the Basketball Champions League in Europe last May. They were the dominant team of Group B, allowing a total of 100 points in their two games against Al Manama and Zhejiang Golden Bulls, while scoring 216 points at the other end.

Key matchup

It's going to be the battle of the lefties. Georginho De Paula averaged 13.5 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds across two games, and it will be a highly emotional one for him, as he already knows the FIBA Intercontinental Cup 2023 Singapore Final will be his last game for Franca, before moving to Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany.

"We've been together for two years, and (the Final) will be my last game for Franca. It's going to be very special, it's going to be my last dance, as I say it. I'm really, really excited. I've been part of the process for a long time," an emotional Georginho said after reaching the Final.

Telekom Baskets Bonn have their own lefty to run the offense. Harald Frey has big shoes to fill in Bonn's offense, but the fans are getting a shade of TJ Shorts' game in him, with the Norwegian guard orchestrating the floor, averaging 10.0 points and 7.5 assists in just 22 minutes per game in Singapore.

"They've been playing really well, so we're definitely going to bring our A game. We'll get back to the hotel, rest up, look at the scouting that the coaches prepared and get ready to play another game," a cool-as-ice Frey said after the Semi-Final.

Stats don't lie

Telekom Baskets Bonn will look to run. Their energy level has been superb for 80 minutes so far in Singapore, as they average 27.5 points from turnovers and 17.5 fast break points, +10 in both categories compared to Sesi Franca.

The Brazilians will have to keep the pace under control the same way they did in the first two games. They turned the ball over just 22 times against two tough opponents in Al Ahly and NBA G League Ignite, if they stay low on the turnovers, then Bonn's running will be prevented, too.

History books

Sesi Franca have a rich history of playing the Intercontinental Cup, finishing second in 1975 and 1980, with three other fourth-placed finishes. Brazilian teams won the event three times, Sirio picking up the trophy in 1979, while Flamengo won it in 2014 and 2022.

Telekom Baskets Bonn are appearing in this event for the first time, and became the second German team to play the Final. Fraport Skyliners lost the title game to Guaros de Lara in 2016.

Where to watch?

The game tips off at 19:00 local time, which is 13:00 in Germany and 8:00 in Brazil. Magenta Sport will broadcast the game live in Germany, while ESPN has the rights for Latin America.