Besiktas win 2012 Eurochallenge
A double-double from Pops Mensah-Bonsu helped Besiktas win the 2012 Eurochallenge with a 91-86 victory over Elan Chalon in Debrecen, Hungary.
The Great Britain star led all scorers with 26 points plus a game-high 20 rebounds and helped by 25 points and 15 rebounds from Zoran Erceg, the two combined for 35 boards out of the 47 in total as the French side had no answer.
Based on Friday's games, Elan Chalon would of fancied their chances against Besiktas who were the pre-tournament favourites. The Turks were not even near their best against Szolnoki Olaj but they did what champions do: they grinded a result out.
And they did the same in the final game in Hungary.
Led by Mensah-Bonsu, Besiktas raced out to an early 13-3 lead and it soon became 15-3 thanks to a lay-up from David Hawkins. Chalon were shellshocked.
The French side got most of their scoring chances from the free-throw line, but after one, they were down 27-15.
A lay-up from Erceg increased the lead to 14 (29-15) to begin the second period. Besiktas set the tempo of the contest throughout, they were out-hustling, out-muscling their opponents and they were playing solid, effective organised basketball.
Chalon fought back though with just under two minutes left in the half. A hook shot from Michel Jean-Baptiste-Adolphe cut the deficit to five points at 41-36 and despite foul shots from Mensah-Bonsu preserving Besiktas' advantage but their French opponents narrowed the gap a little more by the half at 44-40.
Besiktas were rattled, Elan Chalon were gaining more and more confidence and a lay-up from Steed Tchicamboud, who led his side in vain with 19 points and seven assists gave the French team a 55-53 lead. Mensah-Bonsu tied the game with 1:03 left in the third from the foul line.
Free throws from Erceg gave Besiktas a 57-55 lead headed to the final quarter, but despite making a fast start, the Istanbul side had it all to do in the fourth.
A high-scoring final period ensued and led by Mensah-Bonsu's aggressive nature inside, Besiktas got the job done. No defence was played in the last ten minutes and it was as free-flowing a quarter as you will see.