|PGE Turow Zgorzelec were crowned Polish champions for the first time in club history (photo: Sebastian Rzepiel)|
PGE Turow Zgorzelec have knocked down defending champions Stelmet Zielona Gora in the Finals of the Polish Tauron PLK to conquer the domestic crown for the first time in the club's history.
Having claimed first spot in the regular season standings, Turow did not actually need to make full use of their home-court advantage as they picked up a 72-60 win on the road on Wednesday night, to win the title series 4-2.
Turow showcased their hard-nosed defence in the second quarter to outscore their hosts 22-7 in the period and grab a 41-24 lead going into the half-time interval.
Stelmet were unable to mount a comeback attempt until late and when their assault finally came it was too little, too late and the visitors held on to claim the win and the championship crown.
Nemanja Jaramaz was instrumental in Turow's success as he came off the bench and helped his team impose their will in the second with a game-high 16 points, also adding five rebounds and three assists.
Tony Taylor chipped in with 11 points, J.P. Prince had 10 points and seven rebounds while veteran power forward and former Polish international Filip Dylewicz, who was named MVP of the finals, collected nine points and a team-high 11 boards on the night.
Turow had won the first two games of the title series at home, but lost an epic overtime clash in Game 3 on the road, 93-92.
That dramatic win however did not help Stelmet turn a corner in this series as Turow bounced back immediately and claimed an 81-75 victory in Game 4, also in Zielona Gora.
The defending champions, in a last show of determination, clinched an 84-76 win in Game 5 back in Zgorzelec but this achieved nothing more than to prolong Turow's coronation until Wednesday and prevent it from taking place in front of their home fans.
|Filip Dylewicz was named Finals MVP (photo: Sebastian Rzepiel)|
"Our basketball was fast-paced, attractive and effective," Dylewicz, who averaged 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in the finals, commented after receiving his MVP award.
"And [Turow head coach] Miodrag Rajkovic is the best coach with which I have had the opportunity to work together," the veteran stated.
"On behalf of all the players, I would like to thank him for his great ideas for our team."
Turow has reached the title series on six occasions since 2007 but had ended up as runners-up every single year - until this June, when Rajkovic and his troops finally delivered the long-awaited title.
The young Serbian coach was however quite reserved in his celebratory comments after Wednesday's triumph.
"Today [Wednesday] we have concluded a long season, in which we played a total of 82 games," Rajkovic said.
"We showed the character of winners.
"I would like to thank the club and especially my players, because I know that working with me is not easy."