Faced with the danger of becoming the only team without a win in the FIBA Europe League, Kalev Tallinn finished an eight-game losing streak with a sweet 99-96 overtime victory against ECM Nymburk.
|Another two points for Gregor Arbet with a powerful slam dunk|
Led by rising star Gregor Arbet, guards Troy Coleman, Mark Shein and young center Heiko Niidas, Kalev led 22-19 after the first quarter and kept the score even at halftime (45-45). Even 19 points in the first half from Jiri Zidek were not enough to give Nymburk a lead.
Nymburk twice got ahead by six points in the third quarter, but a great dunk by Arbet made it 67-65 for Kalev as the quarter buzzer sounded.
Neither of the two teams led by more than three points thereafter. A fast break by Coleman made it 86-83 for Kalev with 15 seconds to go and seemed to secure the win, but Zidek answered with a three-pointer with 4,6 seconds left to force overtime.
In overtime, Heiko Niidas gave Kalev the final lead - his two free-throws made it 97-96 with 28,3 seconds left. After a missed three-pointer by Jiri Novotny, it was Coleman's turn to go to the free throw line. With four seconds to go, he made both attempts to end the scoring - 99-96. A last-second desperation three-pointer by Nymburk barely hit the rim.
Arbet and Coleman led Kalev with 26 points apiece. Niidas added 16 points, Priit Ilver 12 points and 13 rebounds. Zidek scored 34 and Ashante Johnson had 23 points for Nymburk.
Game-MVP: Gregor Arbet
Andres Sober, Head Coach, Kalev Tallinn:
"I am really happy for my players. They really deserved this victory. Only I know how difficult times they have been through lately."
Gregor Arbet, Kalev Tallinn:
"We won because we wanted this victory more than our opponents. After we fought back in the third quarter, we didn't let them go again."
Michal Jezdin, Head Coach, ECM Nymburk:
"We started well, but then the problems began, especially in defense. Our defense was very poor."
Jiri Zidek, ECM Nymburk:
"Kalev played with their hearts out, both in defense and in offense. They wanted this win more and that was the storyline today."