Marei's effort ended Metropolitans road drought

Oct 15, 2020 by Print
Marei's effort ended Metropolitans road drought

Boulogne Metropolitans 92 picked up its first win of the season and the club's first road win since March 2015 with an 80-86 decision over ratiopharm Ulm. Metropolitans survived a barrage of Ulm's three-pointers, a total of 15, thanks to the effort on the offensive glass.

"The fact that from all the possible rebounds on defense, we took just 53% is just disappointing", Ulm head coach Jaka Lakovic could only state after the game.

Ulm had just 16 defensive boards in this game, while Metropolitans had 13 offensive rebounds. More importantly, 7 of those offensive boards came in the final 8 minutes of the fourth quarter as the game was going down to the wire. Metropolitans' hero was their recently-acquired center Assem Marei, who accounted for 8 offensive boards, tying the club record.

"I like Marei, he just came [recently] because Miralem Halilovic is hurt", Metropolitans assistant coach Sacha Giffa said post-game. "He brought some energy and toughness inside."

Marei was signed to a short-term deal in late September, just days before the Round 1. After playing limited minutes in the season opener but still producing 7 points and 3 rebounds, he then collected 11 points plus 4 rebounds last week. And then Marei exploded on Wednesday. He collected 15 points on 6-for-7 two-point shooting plus 13 rebounds, including 8 on the offensive glass, and also had 3 assists and 2 steals.

His defensive effort also helped hold Dylan Ostenkowski, Ulm's top scorer coming into the game, to just 2 two-point attempts and a total of 5 points for the night.

Metropolitans played with a sense of urgency, something the team lacked early in the first two rounds, and it showed. They made runs, withstood rallies and killer-shooting and got a road win to escape from the bottom of the table and get into a Top 16 race that is quickly heating up.