Strauss Iscar Nahariya advance to the quarter-final stage of the FIBA Europe League for the second year in succession, thanks to an overtime victory over Demon Astronauts Amsterdam on Friday night.
The Israeli side were made to work extremely hard for the win and Amsterdam will be kicking themselves as a missed free throw in the final 10 seconds of the game allowed Nahariya to send the game into overtime.
|Amit Ben David had 17 points for Nahariya|
The first half of the game was an offensive extravanganza and both teams combined for 99 points in the opening 20 minutes alone.
Chief architects of the scoring spree were Amsterdam's Teddy Gipson (16 first half points) and Adrian Pledger (18 first half points - including the first 7 of the game).
The two sides battled each other to a standstill and the score stood 49-50 at halftime.
Joseph Spinks took over offensive duties for Amsterdam in the third quarter. He scored 6 points and the home side opened up a 5-point lead at the 30-minute mark, 67-62.
But the two sides were soon neck and neck once again and a lay-up from Amit Ben David tied the scores at 68-68 with just under 8 minutes remaining.
With time winding down it was Teddy Gipson who struck for Amsterdam. His three-pointer gave his side a 77-74 lead with 90 seconds to play.
Ben David replied for Nahariya with a lay-up and free throw, but when Joe Spinks made a jump shot and was fouled by Barak Peleg (79-77), it looked as though the game would go to Amsterdam.
But nerves got the better of Spinks and he missed the free throw, giving Nahariya one final chance. It was a chance that they would take and when Peleg was fouled by Dainis Oberstats, the Nahariya forward made no mistake and coolly sent the game into overtime.
After having the game in their grasp, Amsteram collapsed in overtime as Nahariya stretched away for the win.
Pledger finished with a game high 25 points for Nahariya and Eric Campbell added 21.
Gipson scored 23 points for Amsterdam and Spinks netted 16 and grabbed 15 rebounds.