The Romanian side improved its record to 5-1 after leaning on a jaw-dropping first-half performance.
Cluj downs Ulm in statement win, 86-75
U-BT Cluj-Napoca kept up its early-season momentum on Wednesday evening by downing ratiopharm Ulm 86-75 in Round 6 of the 2023-24 BKT EuroCup Regular Season. As a result of this triumph, Cluj moved to an impressive 5-1 record in the Group B standings, whereas Ulm dropped to 4-2.
D.J. Seeley paced Cluj with a game-high 21 points, of which 14 came in an electrifying first 20 minutes for the home team. Karel Guzman also chipped in with 16 points, while Emanuel Cate and Adam Mokoka added 12 apiece. In a losing effort, Ulm center Trevion Williams had a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double, Juan Nunez scored 14 points and Thomas Klepeisz contributed 12.
Seeley led the way for Cluj
In a meeting between the fourth-best offense (Ulm) and third-best defense (Cluj), the game got off to a slow start. However, Seeley’s triple opened the first double-digit lead of the game, 16-6, with just over 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The American guard was very impressive for Wednesday’s hosts, ending with a first-quarter tally of 12 points, which included 7 free-throw makes from 8 attempts, as Cluj led 26-14 after the first 10 minutes.
Cluj put its foot on the gas
Cate kept the Cluj train rolling in the second quarter with back-to-back layups, before baskets from Bryce Jones and Guzman made it an 8-2 run to start the period, 36-16. While Ulm looked lost at sea on both offense and defense, Cluj was well and truly in the groove, maintaining a 20-point lead or more thanks to 3 triples from Jarell Eddie and more excellent play from Guzman. With 1:06 remaining before halftime, Guzman brought out his showtime moves with an incredible 360-degree dunk to make it a 47-21 ballgame and wow the home fans. Despite a late fightback from Ulm, Jones’s layup made it 51-24 at the break.
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Magic Moment: Karel Guzman steals the ball and dunks!
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Magic Moment: Dadiet dunks in transition!
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Magic Moment: Jallow stops Kokila at the rim!
Magic Moment: Guzman throws it down!
Magic Moment: Mokoka goes all the way!
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Magic Moments: Williams finds Klepeisz with nice pass
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Magic Moment: Big dunk by Mokoka!
Magic Moment: Guzman dunks with authority
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Magic Moment: Guzman’s block from behind!
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Magic Moment: Jensen spins and dunks!
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Magic Moment: Tavares's big block!
Magic Moment: Campazzo's magic assist!
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Magic Moment: Guzman rips off the 360-degree jam!
Magic Moment: Guzman with the flush after great ball movement!
Magic Moment: Guzman gets up for the slam!
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Aris Midea Thessaloniki-U-BT Cluj-Napoca | Round 5 Highlights | 2023-24 BKT EuroCup
Magic Moment: Kleipeisz to Georginho for the alleyoop!
Magic Moment: Williams with the razzle dazzle!
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U-BT Cluj-Napoca-Buducnost VOLI Podgorica | Round 4 Highlights | 2023-24 BKT EuroCup
Magic Moment: Adam Mokoka gets the Cluj fans off their seats!
Magic Moment: Cate with the big rejection!
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Magic Moment: Williams with a magic pass!
Magic Moment: Morgan to Mike for the alley-oop!
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Magic Moment: Roko Prkacin dunks!
Magic Moment: Mokoka rocks the rim with two-handed slam!
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Magic Moment: Guzman's windmill dunk
Magic Moment: Guzman finds Stipanovic
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Magic Moment: Trevion Williams with a one-handed slam dunk!
Ulm had a third-quarter fightback
Cluj had a 27-point advantage entering the second half, but it seemed to lose its intensity on both ends of the floor as a result of that. Pacome Dadiet had a quick 4 points for Ulm, which then had L.J. Figueroa score a layup off a steal to make it a 0-6 run, the visitors’ biggest of the game to that point, 51-30. There was still a long way back for Ulm, but it played more like the Ulm we have become accustomed to seeing and cut the gap to 12 points, 58-46, following a 7-22 streak that was capped off by a Dakota Mathias triple. However, an unsportsmanlike foul called on Nunez seemed to rally the Cluj players, who managed to close the quarter ahead by 16, 64-48.
A battle that went to the final minutes
Ulm clearly had its tail up after an impressive third quarter, but Cluj seemed to have an answer most of the way. It seemed as though the hosts might be able to coast to a win after making it a 21-point ballgame, 71-50, 80 seconds into the final period, but Ulm used the threeball to its advantage as they trimmed the difference to 9, 73-64, thanks to 4 triples and a layup by Williams. That gap dropped to 7 points, 73-66, after a Nunez layup, with 3:43 left, but Seeley stepped up with a deep two and a three that beat the shot-clock buzzer to give Cluj breathing room, 82-69. Several foul shots followed, but Cluj was able to celebrate early as it came away with an 86-76 victory.