D’Tigers star emotional after win
Chima Moneke delivered a dominant performance off the bench, registering a thunderous double-double (20 points, 13 rebounds) to propel Baskonia to a narrow 75-73 victory over Panathinaikos B.C. in a pulsating EuroLeague encounter at the Fernando Buesa Arena.
Despite trailing for the majority of the game, Moneke’s sheer grit and determination kept Baskonia afloat. The Nigerian forward was a force to be reckoned with inside the paint, grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds while showcasing his offensive prowess with an efficient 20-point haul. His performance saw him named the Most Valuable Player of the game.
With the scores tied at 73 apiece in the dying seconds, it was Codi Miller-McIntyre who stepped up to the plate. The American guard sank a clutch two-pointer, sending the home crowd into a euphoric frenzy as Baskonia secured their 10th win of the EuroLeague season.
For Panathinaikos, Kendrick Nunn poured in a game-high 25 points, but his brilliance wasn’t enough to overcome Moneke’s heroics and Baskonia’s collective resilience. Marius Grigonis and Kostas Sloukas chipped in with 11 points each for the Greeks, but their efforts ultimately fell short in the face of Baskonia’s determined comeback.
Moneke’s stellar performance continues to be a bright spot for Baskonia. The 27-year-old has been in red-hot form, emerging as the team’s leading scorer in their last three games despite coming on from the bench.
Speaking after the victory, Moneke says self-belief in himself and the team was key to their comeback win.
“I’m happy we got the win. EuroLeague is the best league basketball-wise in the world. I’m proud of us, I’m proud of myself, I don’t know why this one is emotional, I’m just very proud right now,” Moneke said after the game.
“I believe in myself more than anyone in the world believes in me. A lot of people don’t believe in me, a lot of people don’t believe in the team. I believe in the team, we believe in the team and that’s all that matters genuinely.”
His impressive EuroLeague campaign sees him ranked 10th in scoring (14.8 points per game) and 4th in rebounding (6.6 rebounds per game), solidifying his status as a major force in the competition.
The win was a crucial one for Baskonia, propelling them up the EuroLeague standings to 11th place, level on points with fifth-placed Panathinaikos.