KRKA Win With The Ikonic Show

29.04.2011

EuroChallenge

Goran Ikonic poured in 24 of his game-high 26 points in the second half on Friday as KRKA Novo Mesto beat BC Oostende to advance to the EuroChallenge Final.

The Slovenian club won 79-65 and will now take on Lokomotiv Kuban, who overcame Spartak Saint-Petersburg in Friday's first Semi-Final.

Oostende, beaten in the Belgian Cup Final by Dexia Mons-Hainaut on Monday, had a dream start against KRKA and ended up taking a 34-24 lead with 1:10 remaining in the first half.

Caleb Green's 10 points were pacing the Belgian team and giving the home fans hope of a European title.

KRKA closed the second quarter on a 5-0 run, though.

Bojan Krivac connected from behind the arc and then after former Oostende forward Dragisa Drobnjak intercepted a pass by Green, he followed up a Krivac miss on a fastbreak with a tap-in to cut the deficit to 34-29 at half-time.

KRKA emerged from the changing rooms with much more intensity on defense and an Ikonic who was determined to carry his team offensively.

He scored five straight points early in the third quarter to knot the game at 36-36.

A Dusan Katnic three-ball would later give Oostende a 42-38 advantage with 4:16 to play in the third, but Ikonic buried a three and then soared in and scored on a fast break after a Drobnjak steal for a one-point KRKA advantage.

Oostende continued to fight and found themselves clinging to a 50-49 lead at the end of the frame after Katnic penetrated and passed to veteran Belgium international center Tomas Van Den Spiegel for a lay-up.

Krivec began the fourth quarter with a reverse lay-up, though, just avoiding the outstretched hands of Van Den Spiegel.

The game then turned into the Ikonic show.

The 31-year-old hit a jump shot, a three-pointer, and after a Caleb Green lay-up, Ikonic hit another three-pointer and then added another basket for a 61-52 lead with 5:09 to play.

With coach Aleksandar Dzikic's defense giving nothing away, KRKA cruised the rest of the way.

Ikonic capped his brilliant second-half display with a dunk for a 71-59 advantage with just over a minute to play.

The week started with dreams of treble glory for the hosts but after the setback to Dexia Mons-Hainaut and Friday's defeat to KRKA, they have only the Belgian league title to play for.

KRKA, who reached the Adriatic League Final Four before falling to Union Olimpija, are now 40 hard minutes away from a EuroChallenge title.


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