Alford and Hadžibegovič carry Zastal Zielona Gora into the playoffs
Zastal Zielona Gora became the third team which secured a ticket to the 2023 playoffs after a 78-73 rollercoaster win over Šiauliai on Wednesday, January 25, at the TalTech Spordihoone in Tallinn, Estonia.
Players of the game
There were play-off vibes at the TalTech Spordihoone on Wednesday afternoon.
Bryce Alford became the fourth player in the ENBL history to score 30 points in a single game.
Manchester, Indiana born guard finished his UCLA career as the fifth leading scorer in school history.
Now he is lighting it up in Europe.
Alford made 12-of-20 shots from the field, including a 4-of-11 from the three point line, and a 2-of-2 from the charity stripe.
He added five assists and two steals but never turned the ball over.
Alen Hadžibegovič contributed with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 5-of-9 from the free throw line.
Montenegro star grabbed seven rebounds, dished out three assists and registered three steals.
Hadžibegovič blocked two shots and forced a team high six fouls.
Sebastian Kowalczyk scored all 11 points in the second half.
He made 3-of-7 shots from the three point line.
Szymon Wojcik had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
Arminas Urbutis led Šiauliai with 16 points on 5-of-7 accuracy from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Captain added eight rebounds, one steal and five forced fouls.
Jonas Zohore Bergstedt had 15 points and a game high 14 rebounds.
Danish center dished out three assists and blocked one shot.
Kyle Mangas registered a dirty dozen, as he finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
Indiana Wesleyan (2017-2021) star contributed with four rebounds.
Martynas Varnas checked out with 12 points.
Šiauliai went on a 0-12 run early in the second quarter for a 23-32 lead.
Bryce Alford scored 19 points in the first half but Zastal Zielona Gora still trailed by six points, 35-41.
Alford received much needed help from Sebastian Kowalczyk.
His three three-pointers helped to turn the tide, as Zastal regained a 63-55 lead before the final frame.
Alford and Kowalczyk combined for seven three pointers but their team outscored Šiauliai from the deep, 8-of-25 against 4-of-23.
Zastal lost the battle of rebounds, 32-42 (offensive rebounds 6-15), however tied Šiauliai in second chance points, 10-10.
Thanks to Kowalczyk and Aleksandar Zečevič, Zielona Gora reserves outscored the Sun City, 20-11.
Hadžibegovič secured some important rebounds and scored four points in the fourth quarter to limit Šiauliai comeback attempts.
Zastal Zielona Gora improved to 4-2 and booked a ticket to the playoffs.
Šiauliai dropped to 2-3 and may miss the playoffs if KB Sigal Prishtina beat TalTech later today.
The Sun City suffered a 67-91 defeat against the Kosovo team on Tuesday.
ENBL records, as of January 2023
Jerai Grant 32 January 4, 2023, Budivelnyk 73-59 TalTech
Cleveland Melvin 30 December 21, 2022, Prishtina 69-89 Lublin
Kristupas Žemaitis 30 January 17, 2023, Sopot 89-86 Alytus
Bryce Alford 30 January 25, 2023, Zielona Gora 78-73 Šiauliai
SCHEDULE (local time only)
Monday, January 23, Tallinn, Kalevi Spordihall (GMT+3h)
BC Kalev/Cramo 73–80 Polski Cukier Start Lublin
Tuesday, January 24, Tallinn, TalTech Spordihoone (GMT+3h)
Šiauliai 67–91 KB Sigal Prishtina
TalTech Optibet 85–104 BC Zielona Gora
Tuesday, January 24, Valmiera (GMT+3h)
Valmiera Glass ViA 83–90 Brno Basket
Wednesday, January 25, Tallinn, TalTech Spordihoone (GMT+3h)
BC Zielona Gora 78–73 Šiauliai
18:00 BK Sigal Prishtina – Tal Tech Optibet
Wednesday, January 25, Ness Ziona (GMT+3h)
18:00 Ironi Ness Ziona – BC Wolves
STANDINGS, as of January 25, 2023, CET 14:00
Budivelnyk Kyiv 4-0 (+56) Qualified
Polski Cukier Start Lublin 4-1 (+44) Qualified
Zastal Zielona Gora 4-2 (+10) Qualified
Kalev/Cramo 2-4 (+19)
KB Sigal Prishtina 2-3 (-16)
Šiauliai 2-3 (-24)
TalTech Optibet 0-5 (-89)
Tie-breaker (1): Kalev/Cramo 1-1, +6; Sigal Prishtina 1-1, +3; Zastal Zielona Gora 1-1, -9.
Tie-breaker (2): Sigal Prishtina 1-1, +13; Kalev/Cramo 1-1, +3; Šiauliai 1-1, -16.
Tie-breaker (3): Sigal Prishtina 2-0, +38; Zielona Gora 0-1, -14; Šiauliai 0-1, -24.
STANDINGS, as of January 25, 2023, CET 14:00
Stal Ostrow 4-1 (+63)
King Szczecin 4-0 (+32)
Tartu University 2-3 (+8)
Trefl Sopot 3-2 (+25)
Ironi Ness Ziona 2-2 (+3)
BC Wolves 2-1 (+28)
Basket Brno 1-4 (-39)
Valmiera Glass VIA 0-5 (-120)
Tie-breaker (1): Ironi Ness Ziona 1-0, +8; Trefl Sopot 0-1, -8.
Tie-breaker (2): Trefl Sopot 1-0, +4; Tartu 0-1, -4.