Israel Win Thriller To Advance

03.08.2008

Israel survived in Group B after a thrilling and hot temper battle against Georgia with an 84-80 win.

Both teams entered the game knowing the loser will fall to the 13-16 classification games, while the winner would sleep better tonight, and the tension was accordingly.

Finally it was Israel's Gal Mekel who hit his first three pointer of the night down by one with 20 seconds left to put Israel on top and secured the win from the line in the last seconds.

Mekel also came close to a triple double with 21 points, ten rebounds and eight assists.

Israel tied their 1-2 record with Georgia but the win today gives them the tie-breaker.  

Anton Shoutvin added 19 points and seven rebounds for Israel.

Georgia's Giorgi Shermadini was also close for a triple double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks. Levan Shengelia had 23 points and ten rebounds.

Israel took a small lead in the early minutes, and with a great back court effort took off to a 25-17 lead after one quarter.

Shoutvin maintained the lead and on Georgia's side it was Shermadini who stepped up to keep his team in the picture.

Mekel with six points in a row fought back but saw Shengelia finish the half with five points, to make it 44-42 after two quarters.

Georgia came out of the locker-room with a big momentum, and took the lead, but saw the Israeli bigs - Shoutvin and Bukhra - allow their team to enter the last quarter in a 65-65 tie.

Mekel led another 8-0 run early in the fourth, but Shengelia and Shermadini carried their team back to a tied 79-79 with 1:36 to play.

Shermadini added another point from the line, before Mekel took over and decided the game.


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