Forward DJ Seeley is having a career season in the BKT EuroCup with U-BT Cluj-Napoca, and the last game against 7bet-Lietkabelis Panevezys was just the last chapter of that story... for now.
Seeley sealed an instant classic in Cluj
U-BT Cluj-Napoca and 7bet-Lietkabelis delivered an instant classic game in Round 9 of the BKT EuroCup Regular Season. It was a back-and-forth scoring battle in which Cluj forward D.J. Seeley made the difference down the stretch.
Cluj beat Lietkabelis 120-111 in overtime. Both teams set new EuroCup club records for most points in the competition. Cluj had never reached 100 points before this game and it went to 120, the seventh-best scoring mark in competition history and the highest in almost six years, since LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne beat Dreamland Gran Canaria 128-129 in triple overtime on December 27, 2017.
Both teams combined for 231 points, tying the fourth-best mark in competition history. The game became the highest scoring one ever with just one overtime: all games tied or ahead of it had two extra times or more.
In the end, it came down to Seeley's inspiration to take the game to overtime and win it.
Seeley finished the game with 25 points but scored 16 of those in the final 2 minutes of regulation and overtime. When he returned to the game, Cluj led 76-65 but Lietkabelis rallied within 89-87 in the next-to-last minute of regulation. Seeley buried a three-pointer but Gediminas Orelik and Gabrielius Maldunas tied the game, 92-92. Seeley hit free throws and struck again from downtown, 97-94. Deividas Sirvydis drew a foul while taking a three-point shot and hit all attempts to send the game to overtime.
Far from being done, Seeley made sure his team won the game. With the game tied at 104-104, Seeley fed Adam Mokoka for a three-pointer, and went on to drew a foul and calmly make free throws. When Orelik buried his fourth three-pointer, Seeley immediately answered from downtown for a 112-107 Cluj lead with less than 2 minutes remaining. From that moment, the hosts were well on their way to record their seventh victory.
"It was tough. That's a tough team and we knew that they always come back in the fourth quarter," Seeley said after the game. "They always come back, no matter if they are down by 15, we knew we just had to stay with it, and that's what we did. Coming back from last game, we needed a win."
Seeley hit 5 of 6 three-pointers and 8 of 9 free throws on his way to 25 points, a new season-high and close to his best scoring night in the competition: 29 points with Buducnost VOLI Podgorica in a 60-89 road win over Promitheas Patras on December 8, 2021.
This season, Seeley leads Cluj in scoring (16.0 ppg.) and PIR (14.6). Above all, Cluj finishes his first EuroCup campaign with a 5-13 record and out of the playoffs last season. With Seeley leading the team, Cluj is 7-2 and looking ahead to the second part of the regular season.