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Group:  A | 14.08.2010, 21:30h
Group:  A | 14.08.2010, 21:30h
77-73
26 - 2214 - 1819 - 2118 - 12
26 - 2214 - 1819 - 2118 - 12
Venue: Tel Aviv (ISR) |
Spectators: 11000 |
Referees: Christos Christodoulou (GRE), Marius Ciulin (ROU), Milan Brziak (SVK)

GAME REPORT


Israel Breathe Down Montenegro's Neck

Israel moved neck and neck with Montenegro at the summit of EuroBasket 2011 Qualifying Round Group A after coming out on top in a thrilling 77-73 encounter in Tel-Aviv.

Omri Casspi wowed the 11,000 strong crowd with a massive 30 points to hand the visitors their first taste of defeat.

In a superb atmosphere, the game went down to the wire and the home team held their nerve down the stretch to win it from the free-throw line.

Tied up at 72-72 with a little over two minutes remaining, Israel made five of six from the stripe and locked down the visitors with their defence when it really mattered.

The hosts started strongly and moved into a 26-18 advantage but Montenegro showed why they had not lost previously with Nikola Pekovic scoring four free-throws to keep his team firmly in touch.

When Yotam Halperin opened the scoring in the second with a three-pointer, it looked like Israel might accelerate away but instead it was Montenegro who made the next run to stun the home crowd as they went 30-29 in front.

By half-time the scores were tied at 40-40 and not surprisingly the fans were anticipating more quality in the second half.

Montenegro began to showcase their talent and strength and went 52-44 ahead through another score by the impressive Pekovic.

The home fans were seriously worried and looking down the barrel of a second defeat after their shock loss to Finland, the hosts had to respond and they did. A bi triple to finish the quarter by Casspi got them back to within two points at 61-59.

It was to prove to be hugely important as Israel clawed their way back before showing they had ice running through their veins by sinking their free-throws in a tense finale.

Lior Eliyahu had 17 points for the winners while Pekovic top scored for the losing tam with 20.

 

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Israel vs. Montenegro

Montenegro head coach Dusko Vujosevic:
"Israel played for the crowd and played well. I do not want to reduce the Israeli victory I will do anything to respect the team when playing in normal conditions, but the game should be played by the players and not by the judges. Very difficult to play at this level; we played well but complicated travel arrangements have influenced us."

Israel head coach Ari Shivek:
"The last few minutes had the same script as the game against Finland. The players did an amazing job. Montenegro are an amazing group who have scored more than 65 points in all their games. Because of that we wanted to play more offensive."

Israel player Omri Casspi:
"It was a great victory against a great team. We needed to restore our honour after the Finland defeat. It is important for me to take responsibility and the leadership against such a strong opponent and finish stronger."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

38.5%

25/65
FG
M/A

41.4%

24/58

39.5%

17/43
FG2P
M/A

51.4%

18/35

36.4%

8/22
FG3P
M/A

26.1%

6/23

79.2%

19/24
FT
M/A

82.6%

19/23

30

7/23
RT
RO/RD

43

9/34

15

AS

18

9

TO

16

10

ST

4

3

BS

2

18

PF

25

77

Pts

73

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