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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Can`t hold `em: Bakken Bears advance to their first European final




Bakken Bears withstood a comeback attempts by Šiauliai, defeated the tough Lithuanians, 90-77, and secured a spot in the 2024 ENBL final on Tuesday, April 9, at the electric Sparekassen Danmark Basketball center in Aarhus, Denmark.



Players of the game

Malik Parsons stepped up in the fourth quarter.


A former Northwestern Oklahoma State University shooter scored 13 of his 19 points in the last 10 minutes.


Parsons was 0/3 from the three point line after the first 30 minutes but went 2/3 the rest of the way.


Six Bears scored in double figures, including all five starters.


Gustav Knudsen had 16 points.


DeAndre Pinckney posted 13 points, nine rebounds and a cool swat.


Skyler Bowlin checked out with 11 points, five assists and four steals.


Ryan Evans and Noah Sorensen scored 10 points each.


A seven time Danish champion Michel Diouf had eight points and seven rebounds.


Shaquille Keith led all scorers with 21 points.


Šiauliai forward added nine rebounds.


Leonard Thorpe Junior chipped in with 11 points.


Paulius Danusevičius scored 10 points.



Key stats

Bakken Bears outscored Šiauliai from the three point line in the first quarter, 15-14.


Gustav Knudsen scored eight points on 3/3 scoring from the field, including a 2/2 from the deep.


Ryan Evans also didn`t missed from the three point land, while Skyler Bowlin added one more three.


Bears had a 22-14 lead after the first 10 minutes.


Shaquille Keith led the comeback attempts for Šiauliai.


He scored 12 points in the first half on a perfect 5/5 shooting from the field and 2/2 from the charity stripe.


A couple of baskets by Tomaš Pavelka and Bennett Vander Plas cut the gap to six points, 31-25.


Bakken Bears ended the first half on a 11-5 run to double their lead, 42-30.


Šiauliai went 1/13 from the three throw line in the first 22 minutes of the game.


Nojus Mineikis ended the cold spell, 48-40.


Keith, Leonard Thorpe Junior and Bennett Vander Plas added heat in the paint.


Anders Sommer used a first timeout in the second half after Šiauliai made it a two possession game, 50-44.


Bakken Bears regained a double digit lead after three pointers by Skyler Bowlin and Noah Churchill, 56-46.


The Bears continued their onslaught and increased lead up to 14 points, 63-49.


DeAndre Pinckney blocked a shot by Leonard Thorpe Junior.


Šiauliai refused to surrender and ended the third quarter on a 0-7 run, 63-56.


The Sun City team added two more points after a Neil Diamond classic Sweet Caroline put the enthusiastic fans on their feet.


Malik Parsons answered with a three but Žydrūnas Urbonas men continued their push, 66-62, with 06:40 to go.


Parsons didn`t stopped and helped the Bears to regain a double digit lead.


Can`t hold us – erupted with 93 seconds left.


An unsportsmanlike foul was called for Šiauliai in the last minute but it didn`t left a significant impact.



Pregame notes

Second semifinal in the Bears territory was a pure magic.


Pregame dinner by JCN Boling Lounge with 550 seats for the fans.


Ten minutes of hype, fueled by a Kenny Logan superhit Danger Zone from Top Gun movie.


Hypeman. Lights off.


Bears dance squad and mascot Grizzly dancing to the Pirates of The Caribbean theme.


Tipoff. Chills.


What a way to start THE GAME.



Game notes

Bakken Bears improved to 8-2, while Šiauliai dropped to 8-2.


The hosts ended a 6-0 streak by Šiauliai coach Žydrūnas Urbonas.


There will be no Polish-Lithuanian final for the first time.


Clubs from Denmark and Romania will play for the title.



SCHEDULE (local time only)

Tuesday, April 9

Liège Basket 79-80 CSO Voluntari


Šiauliai 77-90 Bakken Bears


Wednesday, April 10

16:00 Bronze medal game

Live stats TBA


19:00 Final

Live stats TBA


21:00 Award ceremony



Final Four history

Wloclawek 2022: Anwil Wloclawek, Šiauliai, Basket Brno, Tartu University

Ostrów Wielkopolski 2023: BM Stal Ostrów, BC Wolves, Start Lublin, King Szczecin



Final Four referees


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