European Competitions

ZZ Leiden advances to next round

On Wednesday, Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden qualified for the second group stage of the FIBA Europe Cup. Leiden needed the help of Iraklis BC to do so. In the afternoon, Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden went down 84-61 against Bahcesehir College. A win for Iraklis at Mornar Bar was the second possibility to go European. Iraklis managed to win in the last second, leaving Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden as the only Dutch team to continue playing.

By: Martin Hoekstra
Foto: FIBA Europe Cup

At the start of this last game day, Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden had one more win than Mornar Bar. Bahcesehir College had not lost a single game. If Leiden wanted to qualify for the European sequel, it had to win in Turkey. In itself an extremely difficult task, especially if a number of players were ill in recent days.

Still, Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden had chances. After a three-pointer by Worthy de Jong, Leiden took an 11-14 lead four minutes before the end of the first quarter. No more Leiden scores came in this quarter, allowing Bahcesehir College to end the first quarter with an 18-14 advantageous margin.

Two threes by Jhonathan Dunn and two dunks by Asbjørn Midtgaard gave Leiden new hope. Midtgaard missed his bonus free throw, after which De Jong pulled a rebound out of the hands of an opponent in his familiar way to make it 27-30. The solid Ghanaian Benjamin Bentil and Jamar Smith, who was familiar from the Leiden game, led Bahcesehir to a 40-36 halftime score.

The game was decided in the first four minutes after the break. Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden got no further than a three-pointer by Dunn, while the Turkish squad gathered 10 points for a 50-39 halftime lead. Einaras Tubutis (double double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds) and Dunn (top scorer with 14 points) brought Leiden back to 52-44, but then Bahcesehir College slowly ran away to a 64-46 lead after three quarters.

In the last quarter, Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden obviously could not make up that difference. De Jong did show off again with two dunks and another chase down block, this time on Smith. De Jong could look back on a good game anyway with 11 points, 7 assists, 4 steals and only 1 turnover. At 4’45” from the end, Tubutis still made the score 75-61, but after that Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden went cold. Thanks in part to two three-pointers by Bentil, the game eventually ended at 84-61 and Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden had to take a seat in the waiting room.

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