Montenegro Beat Israel To Top Spot


Montenegro used a late run to beat Israel 79-69 and secure top spot in Group A as both teams booked their tickets to the EuroBasket finals next summer.

In a straight fight for first place, Vladimir Dragicevic scored 20 points and Nikola Pekovic added 19 to lead Montenegro to victory, but Israel can take consolation from edging out Italy for second place in the group.

Israel enjoyed the lead for long periods in tonight's game, particularly in the first half, but Montenegro got back on level terms midway through the third period when Dragicevic's lay-up made it 47-47 and the teams then slugged it out until the fourth quarter, when Montenegro made a decisive run.

From a 62-62 tie, Pekovic made back-to-back lay-ups that sparked a 9-0 run.

Omri Casspi ended Israel's drought with a free-throw but Montenegro continued to pull away, their lead reaching 12, 75-63, on Dragicevic's free-throw with 2:29 to go, and Israel's challenge was over.

Casspi and Lior Eliyahu had 18 points each for Israel.


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