Assem Marei picked a great time to have his best game in the 7DAYS EuroCup as the Egyptian big man was magnificent in making history and carrying Boulogne Metropolitans 92 to a big victory. Marei came off the bench to pour in 24 points as he hit 7 of 15 shots to go with 10 of 13 free throws while also collecting 15 rebounds in Metropolitans' 86-81 win at home over Germani Brescia.
In less than 24 minutes of action, he also collected 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 11 fouls drawn for an index rating of 37. The 28-year-old set career-highs for points, rebounds and performance index rating and also broke a club record with 10 offensive rebounds and tied the team’s marks in free throws attempted and PIR.
Marei bounced back from his worst game of the EuroCup season thus far as he tallied 6 points, 4 rebounds and a PIR of 3 in the Round 7 makeup game against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. The big man did not play in the first matchup against Brescia in Round 5 and he proved more than the Italian side could handle - maybe even more than his coach Jure Zdovc could handle as it turned out.
"My teammates did a great job finding me. They were almost doing it too much. Coach in the timeout said let’s play everywhere," Marei said after the game with a smile.
His dominance on the glass set the tone for the game. Metropolitans outrebounded Brescia 43-33 including 20 offensive rebounds. And the home side turned that into a 19-6 advantage in second-chance points.
Metropolitans is still waiting for Zimbabwean big man Vitalis Chikoko to come back from injury. But the team got a big boost from guard Archie Goodwin, who poured in 19 points in his second game with the team after having tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds in his opener.
Metropolitans is playing in the EuroCup for the first time since 2017-18 when it struggled to a 2-8 record. Now Zdovc has the club alive to grab first place in the group, something he even questioned going into the season.
"We ended in a situation where we can finish first, which I don’t think anybody expected - even me," the coach admitted.
Having Assem Marei do his thing sure did help a lot."