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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Start Lublin surprise the Bears to stay in a playoff hunt

Polski Cukier Start Lublin played their best ENBL basketball this season to post a 98-91 road win over Bakken Bears Aarhus on Tuesday, January 17, at the Sparekassen Danmark Basketball center in eastern Jytland.

Players of the game

Tomislav Gabrič scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half for Start.

Power forward finished the game with a 6/10 shooting from the three point line and a perfect 4/4 from the charity stripe.

Gabrič turned into the main threat from the deep but his presence was felt also closer to the basket.

Big man had five boards and one blocked shot.

Liam O`Reilly was another key guy in the second half.

A former Gardner-Webb guard attacked relentlessly and finished with 16 points on 9/10 shooting from the free throw line.

Barret Benson put even more pressure in the paint.

Southern Illinois University center 9 of his 14 points after the break.

Jabril Durham had 16 points and a game high nine assists.

A former Arkansas Razorback point guard added a game high three steals.

DeAndre Pinckney was huge for the Bakken Bears.

Big man posted 19 points, 13 rebounds and three assists.

Darko Jukič had 10 points, eight assists and two steals.

Key stats

The game was tight from the start.

A maximum lead did not exceeded five points in the first half.

Bakken Bears won the first 20 minutes in the paint, 20-30, for a 43-48 lead at the halftime break.

The hosts shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, 19/38.

Polski Cukier Start Lublin improved their shooting up to 50 percent in the second half.

The guests forced 23 fouls and went 28/35 from the free throw line, compared to 10/18 for the hosts.

Start Lublin finished the game with a 15-6 run.

Barret Benson tied the game at 85 with 03:30 left.

Liam O`Reilly scored nine points in the final three minutes, including six consecutive free throws.

The hosts missed numerous three pointers in the clutch time.

Game notes

Polski Cukier Start Lublin improved to 2-3, while the Bakken Bears dropped to 4-1.

It was the first loss for the Danish champions after a 4-0 start.

Anders Sommer`s men may still win the Group A if they defeat Uniclub Casino Juventus.

Artur Gronek and Start Lublin are back in the race.


Four best teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs (A1-B4, A2-B3, A3-B2, A4-B1).

The 2024 playoffs – home and away, best-of-two series – will take place from February 15 until March 20.

The 2024 Final Four will take place on April 9-10.

Standings, as of January 16, 2024

Group A

Uniclub Casino Juventus 5-0 (+87) Qualified

Bakken Bears Aarhus 4-1 (+61)

Tartu Ülikool Maks&Moorits 4-1 (+57)

Bristol Flyers 3-3 (+39)

Polski Cukier Start Lublin 2-3 (-11)

Landstede Hammers Zwolle 1-3 (-44)

Spartak Pleven 1-4 (-50)

Svendborg Rabbits 0-5 (-139)

Group B

CSO Voluntari 5-1 (+67) Qualified

Royal Liège Basket 4-1 (+68)

Šiauliai 4-1 (+39)

Zastal Zielona Gora 3-1 (+21)

Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles 2-2 (+12)

Keila Coolbet 2-3 (-35)

Basket Brno 1-5 (-58)

Valmiera Glass ViA 0-7 (-114)

Tie-breaker 1: Zielona Gora vs Šiauliai 1-0, +26.

Tie-breaker 2: Šiauliai vs Newcastle 1-0, +2.

Tie-breaker 3: Šiauliai vs Voluntari 1-0, +8.

Tie-breaker 4: Liège vs Zielona Gora 1-0, +23.

Tie-breaker 5: Voluntari vs Liège 1-0, +21.


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