Hopkins Leads Apoel To Next Round

09.03.2010

A fine 17 points and eight rebounds by Lewis Hopkins propelled Apoel into the last eight of EuroChallenge as they took second place in Group K with a hard fought 81-76 success against fellow challengers KK Buducnost.

Both teams went into the contest with a chance of making it through but it was the home team who prevailed with a strong display down the stretch.

Trailing 70-67 with just under four minutes to go, a big triple by Michael Mokongo tied the game up and Apoel never looked back as they took the initiative with some big plays and impressive defence.

KK Buducnost had led for periods of the game with Marko Simonovic drilling home a three-pointer on the stroke of the interval to hand the visitors a 38-34 advantage heading into the second half.

By midway through the third, it was really looking good for the team from Montenegro as a score by Ivan Maras extended their lead to 50-42 but the Apoel came storming back.

A triple by Brandon Heath brought the home side level at 56-56 and set up a thrilling finale and the platform for Apoel to take the win.

Hopkins was well supported by Heath who claimed 15 points while Rik Hughes recorded an impressive 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Vladimir Dragicevic was the top scorer in the game with 23 points for the visiting team but it wasn't enough to keep their dream of a place in the last eight alive.


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