Montenegro rallied past Israel in the final 90 seconds as they came from eight points down in the fourth quarter to beat the visitors 75-69 in their EuroBasket qualifying opener.
|Suad Sehovic was among the top scorer's in Montenegro's important win against Israel|
In a see-saw encounter that saw the lead change several times, Israel outscored Montenegro 22-11 in the third quarter to take a 56-48 lead on Alexander Tyus' emphatic dunk.
The teams traded three-pointers early in the fourth and Israel were up 63-56 on Lior Eliyahu's jump-shot with 7:12 left.
But Bojan Dubljevic hit a jump-shot and Nikola Ivanovic's three made it a two-point game with under six minutes to go.
It took them until the 1:33 mark to draw level, 69-69, as Sead Sehovic sank three straight free throws after being fouled by Tyus.
Guy Pnini missed for Israel and Taylor Rochestie went to the line to make the first of four big late free throws for his team, before Vladimir Dasic sealed it following Pnini's turnover.
Suad Sehovic, Rochestie and Blagota Sekulic had 12 points each for Montenegro, while Dasic added 10.
Eliyahu had 22 for Israel with Omri Casspi adding 17 and eight rebounds.
Luka Pavicevic, head coach of Montenegro:
"I want to thank the crowd that gave us the energy we needed in times when Israel had an eight points lead and when we were face to face with a loss. It was not easy to find the way to victory, but we have to forget it quickly, because we are expecting very important matches. We had a great start in terms of results, but we need to fix our game and keep the rhythm and the level of desire and ambition."
Blagota Sekulic, Montenegro:
"This is a very important win for us; it means a lot to us as it can raise our confidence and level of play in the qualifiers. Maybe we did not play during the entire game the way we wanted or we are capable of playing but in the last quarter we showed character, heart and desire and came to a very important victory."
Arik Shivek, head coach of Israel:
"We knew it would be difficult in Podgorica. After the first half we had a good result, although Montenegro dominated the offensive rebounds. However, in the third quarter, we acquired an eight point advantage with which we entered the last ten minutes. Montenegro in the latest quarter hit some tough shots, most of them in the last few seconds of their offense and deserved to win, but we missed some shots."
Yogev Ohayon, Israel:
"Montenegro deserved to win. The hosts played well throughout the match and at no moment allowed us to reach a significant advantage. In the first half they had an advantage in the offensive boards, finishing details and hitting some important shots."