Knowles, Coleby see action in Turkey

Both players notch a double-double, but experience different results

It was a good night for Bahamian center Zane Knowles as he finished with 19 points and a team-high 14 boards to help power his team, Balikesir Büyükşehir Belediyespor, to a 71-68 comeback victory over Final Spor on their home court at the Kurtdereli Spor Salonu in Balikesir, Turkey, on Wednesday. It was their first home game since October 17 and second of the season after a three-game road trip.

Balikesir Büyükşehir Belediyespor now sports a 3-2 win/loss record in the Turkey Basketball League (TBL) this season. With that win, they sit in the 11th position with eight points. Final Spor drops to 2-4 on the season.

The former Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi player went 7-for-12 from the field – all from inside the perimeter, shooting 58.3 percent. He was able to come away with 10 defensive boards and four offensive rebounds in the victory. It was not his best night at the foul line as he shot just 5-for-11 from the charity stripe.

It was a sloppy start for the home team as they only managed to score six points in the first quarter. The visitors took a 16-6 lead heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter was better for Knowles and company as they were able to play a better offensive game They outscored their opponents 16-10 in that quarter to come out of the 10-point hole. Final Spor still led 26-22 heading into the intermission.

The third quarter was a competitive one between both teams with the home team trying to chip into the lead. At the end of the third quarter, Balikesir was able to cut into Final Spor’s lead, but the visitors still led 44-43 heading into the fourth quarter.

With his team going up 63-60, the Bahamian center was able to get one of his two assists of the night when he passed to Batuhan Dikmen for a successful three pointer to extend Balikesir’s lead to 66-60 with 1:33 remaining in the game.

On their next possession, the Bahamian was able to make a layup to put his team up 68-63 with 1:08 left to play.

In the end, it was a 28-24 advantage in the fourth quarter for Balikesir. It was what they needed to complete the comeback victory and remain undefeated at home.

Balikesir heads back on the road when they play Mamak Belediyesi at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at the Mamak Belediyesi Spor Salonu in Ankara, Turkey.

Bahamian Dwight Coleby, who also plays in the TBL, finished Saturday’s game with a double-double as his Merkezefendi Belediyesi Denizli Basket team lost 85-68 to Akhisar Belediye Basketbol. The game was played at the Akhisar Belediye Spor Salonu in Manisa, Turkey.

With that loss, Denizli now sports a 3-3 record in the TBL. Akhisar has a 4-2 record.

Coleby was brilliant in just over 35 minutes of play scoring a team-high 17 points and pulling down a game-high 17 rebounds. On the defensive glass, he grabbed 10 boards and gave his team some second chance opportunities with seven offensive rebounds. The big man was able to go 7-for-16 from the field to shoot 43.8 percent. He took two shots from behind the three-point line but missed both.

He also finished 3-for-4 from the foul line.

At the six-minute mark in the first quarter, Coleby got on the scoreboard with a layup to put his team up 6-2. The home team roared back to end the first quarter up 20-16.

Coleby, who ended his collegiate career at Western Kentucky University (WKU), was strong in the paint and Denizli was able to keep up with the home team as the quarter finished evened off at 17-17. However the home team led 37-33 at the half.

The third quarter was the turning point of the game as the home team took a 64-44 lead  heading into the fourth quarter. Coleby and Denizli were outscored by Akhisar, 27-11, in that period.

The game was wrapped up early in the fourth quarter as Akhisa cruised to the victory.

Next up for Coleby and Denizli is a home matchup against Büyükşehir Hastanesi Konyaspor Basketbol tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Pamukkale Üniversitesi Spor Salonu in Denizli, Turkey.

Coleby has played in all six of Denizli’s games this season. He is averaging 14.2 points and 8.5 rebounds a contest. He has seen over 28 minutes per game on the court and he has been efficient from the field, shooting 71.2 percent.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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