Despite letting a 20-point lead wither to 2, Slask held on to snap a record losing streak.
Slask bent but did not break in character victory
Slask Wroclaw would not have been blamed if it had caved in to the pressure of the home side Turk Telekom Ankara making a big comeback. But the Polish club responded in a strong fashion unexpected from a team on the BKT EuroCup’s worst-ever losing streak and grabbed the win.
Slask watched a 20-point lead with 11 minutes left in the game get trimmed to 2 points with 5 minutes to go. But Jacek Winnicki’s team did not break and grabbed a 71-80 win against the 2023 EuroCup runner-up.
“I am very very happy with this win. We showed character. We played from the beginning to the end of the game,” said the Slask coach, whose team moved to 1-8 in Group B. “The most important thing for me as a coach and for us as a team is when the situation got tough and they cut the lead to 2 points with 5 minutes left we responded in a good tough way. We did not break.”
Slask came into the game without a victory this season and having lost 17 straight EuroCup games dating back to Round 9 from last season on December 21, 2022. The victory also ended the EuroCup all-time record of 26 consecutive road losses. Slask's last win away from home in the competition came on December 11, 2007.
“It was a long time coming for this first win. We are going to enjoy this one,” said Jakub Niziol, who set a career-high with 25 points and was also on the Slask team that last won a game in the EuroCup.
Slask played strong offense and solid defense and built a 40-60 lead late in the third quarter. Turk Telekom raced back into the game and the deficit was just 64-66 with the home fans in the game.
But Winnicki was satisfied with how his team remained composed amid the pressure.
“We responded with patient offense. We created good shots and made those shots and after that, we started to control the game again,” said the coach.
Hassani Gravett was key to that answer as the Slask guard drained 3 three-pointers and scored 12 of his 15 points in the final 5 minutes to make sure that Slask would come back home as a winner - for the first time in some time.