Tuborg Pilsener 80 Fersped Rabotnicki 78

29 February 2004

Turkish side Tuborg Pilsener are FIBA Europe Cup Conference South Champions after a dramatic last second victory over Fersped Rabotnicki from FYROM.

Point guard Hakan Koseoglu was the home team hero. He scored 25 points, including a jump shot with just 1 second on the shot to give Tuborg the win.

Tuborg started the game where they left off from their easy victory over Fenerbahce in the semi-final. Against their fellow Turks they did all the damage on the inside, with center Asim Pars causing particular problems. This time it was the back court that shone as Koseoglu and Bans Ozcan combined to torch Rabotnicki from the outside.

The 2 guards hit 22 of Tuborg’s 27 first quarter points and the Turkish side threatened to run away with the game. Their biggest lead was 12 points, but Rabotnicki rallied towards the end of the period. Center Todor Geceveski hit 6 consecutive, unanswered points in the last minute and Rabotnicki trailed 27:20.

In the second quarter Tuborg established their dominance under the basket as forward Glenn Whisby hit the offensive boards (he finished the first half with 10 rebounds). Tuborg stretched their lead to 17 points before Rabotnicki again came back to within 11 at halftime, 49:38.

Tuborg were able to keep the gap consistently at 10 points throughout the 3rd quarter, but Rabotnicki refused to sumbit totally. An 8-0 run from at the end of the quarter saw them come to within 2 points at the end of the period, 68:66.

The game was now poised for drama. The pattern continued with Tuborg in front by 2-3 points, but again they could not pull away from Rabotnicki. Pars proved to be particularly profligate in the final quarter as he hit just 1/6 free throws, allowing Rabotnicki to stay within striking distance.

With 68 seconds left, Rabotnicki took their first lead of the game after Gecevski hit 2 free throws to make the score 76:77. Koseoglu answered with 2 free throws to give Tuborg the lead, and Ognen Stojanovski split a pair to tie the score at 78 with 14 seconds to go.

After a timeout Tuborg made a play to win the game. Koseoglu found himself defended by the 210 cm Gecevski on a switch and he made enough room to hit a 4 metre jump shot to win the game.

As well as Koseoglu’s 25 points (5/7 3-pointers), Whisby scored 14 on 7/7 shooting (including 3 huge dunks) and grabbed 14 rebounds (5 offensive).

Gecevski finisehd with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Rabotnicki while Dime Tasovski had 18.

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