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Brownlee, Pelita Jaya end BCL Asia campaign with win over Busan KCC

Pelita Jaya still made sure to leave Dubai with a bang despite falling short of their goal in the Basketball Champions League Asia (BCL Asia) inaugurals.

The Indonesian Basketball League outfit stunned defending Korean Basketball League champions Busan KCC Egis, 98-91, for a triumphant conclusion to their campaign, Sunday night at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall.

It was easily their best showing as a unit as all five starters finished in double figures, with James Dickey following up his 40-point outing with another monster showing with 26 points and a tournament-record 26 rebounds.

Justin Brownlee came through with his own double-double as well, registering 21 points and 13 rebounds which he laced with five assists in 38 minutes.

Andakara Prastawa fired five three-pointers on his way to 19 points. Winger Reza Guntara went 6-of-7 from the floor for 15 points, while Muhammad Arighi chipped in 10 markers as the locals made their presence felt heavily.

That was evident in the endgame, when Pelita Jaya badly needed some saving after coughing up a 22-point second-quarter lead, 40-18.

Coach Johannis Winar’s wards stared at a four-point deficit approaching the game’s final six minutes but a Prastawa triple sparked a 7-0 run to give themselves back the lead, 86-83, with 5:07 on the clock.

Heo Ung tied things up shortly after as he tried to strap KCC Egis on his back, but stopping him in every attempt were Guntara and Prastawa.

Guntara, firstly, broke the 86-all deadlock with a trey of his own — off a Dickey assist — to give themselves the lead for good with 3:46 to go.

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Prastawa then provided the finishing blows, going 3-for-3 from the charity stripe before booming in another triple for a 95-88 lead with 1:15 left to play.

Pelita Jaya would go on to finish with a 2-1 record in Group B. The team won its last two games of the pool stage, although that wasn’t enough to secure a semifinal seat as it lost to the Hiroshima Dragonflies in the tiebreak.

The reigning B.League champions defeated the 2023-24 IBL runners-up back in the BCL Asia opener last Sunday by way of an 86-69 routing.

Brownlee and his team had a chance to advance when it beat three-time Iranian Super League champions Shahrdary Gorgan, 97-90, the following night. They needed the latter to lose to Hiroshima to get the ticket.

But Gorgan, third-placers of the recent FIBA West Asia Super League Final 8, took down their Japanese foes, 94-81, and clinched the top spot in the pool, leaving the Dragonflies settling for the no. 2 seed that booted out Pelita Jaya.

Still, it was a commendable showing for the Indonesian side, who swept the BCL Asia Qualifiers, 6-0, to make its way to the tournament proper.

Deon Thompson, on the other hand, had 21 points and 16 rebounds to lead KCC Egis, who finished the tournament winless in three games.

Choi Jun-yong also had 21 points with five rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Lee Geun-hwi had 20 points while Heo added 17 in the loss.

The BCL Asia crossover semis is set on Friday. Group A top seed Al Riyadi will take on Hiroshima. while Gorgan battles host Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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