Second day of BCL for SIG Strasbourg which hosted Tofas Bursa during a match which required extra time to decide between the two teams. In the end, pushed by their public and with anger and envy, coach Tuovi’s team won, with forceps, this meeting 94 to 89, confirming their first place at the head of group A.
Second home game in two Basketball Champions League games for the SIGmen. After a first victory the most important thing was to confirm. Continue to protect his ground in a competition in which we know that winning at home is a virtual obligation, that is the objective at kick-off.
Quarter #1: Word to the defense
Incisive and fighting, Coach Tuovi’s team jumped at the throat of Tofas who saw a small delay appear after 2’30: 10-2. The visiting coach was already taking a time-out, but his team couldn’t. The Greens and Whites broke their teeth on the fine Strasbourg defense and the 1/8 they posted after 5′ was a fine demonstration of our defense well in place. But Tyler Ennis came out of the woods and the sentence was without appeal. By planting 6pts in a row, he kept his team afloat to bring them closer to three units: 12-9, 7′. Stan Okoye answered him without delay to offer us the biggest mattress of the match (19-9, 9 ‘), but Rob Gray was pointing the tip of his nose in turn to conclude this quarter generally well controlled by our SIGmen whatever it was that is : 19-13, 10′ (season: 26-10).
Quarter #2: Gray does not leave marble
The Turks went up the engagement slider as soon as the game returned and we felt that it was no longer the same mayonnaise. The collective was no longer so fluid on both sides of the field and Tofas took advantage of it without shame. Rob Gray and Tyler Ennis bravely played their luck and their team defended very hard, causing big problems for SIG Strasbourg. Indeed, 5 ‘from the break, DeAndre Lansdowne and his band felt the breath of the Turks in their necks: 26-25. Our opponents were much more serious and, even when the SIGmen scored two baskets in a row, coach Priftis took an immediate timeout so as not to lose the thread. Gray did not leave us unmoved by his talent and his contribution was a growing added value at the end of the period (34-32, 18 ‘). His 10pts and 2 interceptions in the quarter made the difference to lead to a tight score at the break: 36-35, 20′ (season : 45-34).
quarter #3: Tofas settles down
The starving 3/13 to 3pts at the break did not look pretty in the Strasbourg decor. It was therefore inside that the SIGmen went to look for the solution. Matt Mitchell was the man for the job, but he couldn’t prevent Tofas from waking up, taking the lead from an award-winning Braimoh after 23’30: 44-47. Be careful not to lend the flank too much because Toure did not ask for better. Our players were in the tough and the gap was beginning to take on dangerous proportions: 50-57, 27′. Worse still, the Turks were more and more comfortable and the 10 units down 1’30 from the end of the period did not help: 52-62, 28’30. It is clear that our errors weighed on us 10′ from the buzzer because the 27pts caught in the haversack in the quarter were nasty. 54-62 (year: 62-65).
quarter #4: the tension is rising…
The beginning of the last act was worthy of the great European games in terms of intensity. The referees were not the most logical in their whistles, but we must not let ourselves be destabilized. Matt reduced the gap (58-63: 31′) and it was clear that we were going to have to fight. To fight yes… The Turkish battering was well beyond legality and it was difficult not to explode in the face of too lax decisions. The public played its part and, under the cheers of its 6th man, the SIG Strasbourg made Tofas Bursa falter by putting on the free throws and, after a nice 10/10 on the penalty line, our team was again in the lead: 66-65, 34 ‘. The streak would go up to 12/12, but don’t think Tofas is dead. Letting the storm pass, the visitors scored 0-5 to regain control 4’ from the end: 68-70. The end of the game was epic! Rob Gray gave his team a 5pt lead with 1’49 remaining (71-76), but Marcus Keene got his head back on the spot for a 3pt shot before Bodian Massa equalized on the line at the 39th . The last two actions were clearly not compatible with cardiac people, and finally the protagonists offered us an extension! 76-76 (year: 90-75).
Extension: with forceps!
WHAT A GAME END! Driven by a fiery Cavalière/Mitchell duo, SIG Strasbourg confirms its second victory in two BCL matches. Leo’s double-double showed us the way (15pts-10rbs), Matt’s impact (23pts-4pds-4ints) was very precious and finally, when we know that in parallel Szombathely beat Murcia, the good business of the evening is Strasbourg. Indeed, with two wins in two matches, Lassi Tuovi’s team is, tonight, alone at the top of group A: we take it!
The match in speed
The periods: 19-13, 17-22 (half-time: 36-35), 18-27 (54-62), 24-20 (76-76), 18-13.