Mitteldeutscher became the first team to make it to the Final of the FIBA Europe Cup Men in Izmir, Turkey this weekend, after a tough win over Russian side Dynamo Moscow. The game was intensely close throughout and it took a single play from Mitteldeutscher guard Paul Burke to effectively decide the contest.
“In close games you have to make plays and make shots,” said Mitteldeutscher Head Coach Henrik Dettmann following his side’s victory.
We had a run in the 4th quarter and this was decisive. It was tough, Dynamo is a good team with more experience than us. They are stronger and bigger than us, but I thought we played smart at the end.”
The pace of the game was fast and furious from the beginning and neither team was able to establish a clear advantage. A Misan Nikagbatse 3-pointer gave Mitteldeutscher a 12:6 lead early on, but Dynamo soon chased them down thanks to some strong play from US forward Johnny Taylor.
Nikagbatse continued his strong play into the 2nd quarter, which he began with a no-look pass to Martin Ringstrom for a dunk. Just 1 minute later, he got a steal and fast break dunk, which gave the Germans a 40:33 lead. But once again, Dynamo replied, this time through their inside players. Andrius Vysniauskas finished the quarter with 4 consecutive points for Dynamo and the teams went into halftime with the score 47:44 in favour of Mitteldeutscher.
At one point in the second half, it looked as if it would take longer than 40 minutes to separate
For Dynamo, Taylor was struggling with his shooting touch, (he shot 5/15 for the game), but Nenad Djoric (17 points) and Konstantin Eremenko (17 points) took up the slack.
In the end, Mitteldeutscher were able to execute in the final minutes. Burke’s shot gave them their chance and Dynamo just run out of gas.
“It was a normal shot in the course of the game,” said Burke of his key 3-pointer.
I got a great pass and the defense collapsed. I had an open shot and when I have an open shot like that I have to shoot.”
Burke finished the game with 16 points for Mitteldeutscher, while Markoishvili top scored with 20 on 5/6 shooting from the field.