By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
ZANE Knowles and Dwight Coleby delivered dominant performances for their respective teams as the Turkish Basketball First League concludes its regular season and teams jostle for playoff positioning.
Knowles finished with 21 points and a season high 19 rebounds for Baikesir Buyuksehir Belediyespor while Coleby added 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots for Merkezefendi Belediyesi Denizl. Knowles powered second ranked Baikesir to a 9-5 record with a 97-95 win over sixth ranked Manisa.
Coleby earned TBL player of the week honours and led Denizl to an 84-59 win over Istanbul.
The win brought the club’s record to 7-7 and moved them into a tie with Duzce for the ninth and final playoff spot.
In round 15 of the regular season, Denzil and Duzce will faceoff with the final playoff spot on the line.
Knowles and Balikesir look to hold on to the second spot when they face Bornova.
The TBL is the second tiered league in the country. The league features 16 teams and the first place finisher is promoted to the top tier Turkish Basketball Super League. Teams ranked 2nd place to 9th place compete in playoff format and the winner of the playoff also promotes.
The last two teams are relegated to the third tier Turkish Basketball Second League.
Both players have enjoyed success this season in Turkey, leading their teams on the boards as the top rebounders and second leading scorers.
Through 13 games, Knowles has averaged 14.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while Coleby has averaged 13.4 points and 11.9 rebounds per game in 14 games.
In a busy 2019-20 campaign, Knowles played in three leagues and two countries before the COVID-19 pandemic brought basketball to an end globally.
He concluded the year with Levski Lukoil of the Bulgarian NBL League.
In just two games with the club he averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coleby spent approximately a month of the previous season in Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A with perennial league contender Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari.