Norrköping Dolphins gave basketball fans in Sweden some more thrills on Tuesday night by beating Barak Netanya 70-64 to keep their hopes of reaching the EuroChallenge Last 16 alive.
Adrian Banks was the talk of the town when he arrived with Netanya since he is the leading scorer in the EuroChallenge but when the game was over, the buzz was all about Joakim Kjellbom.
The big Swede had 27 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.
The Dolphins won despite hitting just three of 27 (11.1%) of their shots from long range.
Where they missed just once, however, was the free-throw line.
The hosts were 17 of 18 at the stripe while Netanya made 16 of 24.
Banks was still very good, making all five of his shots at the line and scoring 20 points on six of 13 shooting from the floor, including three of six from long range.
A Banks three-point play gave Netanya a 54-52 lead with 7:44 to go in the game.
Andrew Mitchell had fouled Banks but he made amends at the other end with a pair of free-throws before getting a three-point play of his own after getting fouled on a fast break lay-up.
Norrköping stayed in front the rest of the way and claimed a six-point win that has left both sides with 3-2 records in Group D.
Dolphins Head Coach Kelly Grant:
"I'm proud of what we did. We did everything we could to keep the hope alive. Positive to get a win with such low percentage from 3-point range. I would have liked the last shot to go in. We were 10 points down and came back to win with 6. That's 16 points. We never give up. We have proven that we belong to this level, being a qualifying team and all. It is fun to play these kind of games. Netanya is the most physical team in the group. But it will be tough in the last game as well against Liege. We have won most of the close games and we know that we do not get nervous and that we can win those close games."
Netanya Coach Alfasi Arik:
"We played good defense against a good team. We had problem inside with Kjellboom. We did not play smart enough in offense. The good thing we take from this game is the 6-point difference."