EUROBASKET 2015 2ND QR
| Worthy De Jong provided Netherlands with the big plays when they needed them|
Netherlands have thrown wide open Group B of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round, with a famous 65-60 triumph over Montenegro on the road, in Day 3 action on Sunday.
Following Day 3 results, the Dutch, Montenegro and Israel are all tied at 2-1 on the table while Bulgaria remain bottom of the group with three defeats in as many games.
Sunday's victory and that against Bulgaria on 13 August are of historical importance for Netherlands, as they came exactly four years after their previous success away from home, in a Qualification encounter against Luxembourg.
Montenegro appeared to be in the mood to assume control of proceedings early on, as a Nemanja Radovic triple with 2:03 remaining in the first quarter gave them a 20-12 lead.
Arvin Slagter replied swiftly for the guests however with a long-range shot at the other end and while Montenegro went into the locker rooms at the interval holding a 36-30 cushion, it was apparent they were unable to tighten their grip on the game.
The Dutch sensed the opportunity and unleashed their assault after the break.
Playing fantastic defence, they kept Montenegro scoreless for over six minutes and Nick Oudendag, with a dunk 5:32 from the third buzzer, capped off a 13-0 run that brought the Dutch ahead 43-36.
Almost two minutes elapsed until Vladimir Golubovic finally found some space and dunked to stop the rot for Montenegro, reducing to 43-38, but by now the Dutch were feeling comfy in the driving seat.
A triple by Roeland Schaftenaar and a jumper by Worthy De Jong in the final seconds of the third frame gave Netherlands a vital 50-41 cushion going into the final quarter.
Montenegro threw everything at their guests in the clutch and Vladimir Mihailovic sunk a triple with 26 seconds left on the clock to reduce the Dutch lead to just one point, 61-60.
Schaftenaar however drew a quick foul and hit both his free throws to give the Netherlands some breathing space, 63-60.
Taylor Rochestie attempted to tie the scores from beyond the three-point arc but his shot did not drop in, the Dutch secured the rebound and De Jong wrote the final score from the stripe with 14 seconds left to play.
Schaftenaar went 7-for-11 from the floor and led all scorers with 18 points, Slagter added 12 points and four assists and Oudendag chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds for the winners.
Montenegro captain Sead Sehovic was the only player to reach double digits for his team and finished with 13 points.