|Kamil Chanas lifts the trophy, as Stelmet Zielona Gora are crowned Polish champions 2013 (photo: www.dariuszbiczynski.pl)|
Stelmet Zielona Gora defeated PGE Turow Zgorzelec 87-78 at home on Sunday to sweep their rivals 4-0 in the Polish Tauron Basket Liga final series and conquer the first league title in their history.
Playing with their backs to the wall, Turow were off to a strong start in Game 4 and took an early eight-point lead, only for their hosts to score 21 points within a five-minute stretch and reach the end of the first quarter leading 28-24.
Zielona Gora extended their lead to 11 points early into the second quarter but Turow came back again and reduced the gap to 40-37 with 4:43 left to the second buzzer.
The hosts called a time-out and when they returned to the floor they scored eight consecutive points to re-establish a comfy cushion, 55-44 at the half-time interval.
Turow made a second attempt at a comeback after the break but, once again, they only managed to bring the difference down to three points, 57-54, before Zielona Gora replied with a 7-0 run to gain plenty of breathing space.
Another Zielona Gora spurt mid-way through the final period effectively sealed the win for the eventual champions as it put them ahead 83-67 with 4:47 remaining to the end of the encounter.
Zielona Gora's five starters combined for 79 of their team's 87 points, with small forward Quinton Hosley, who was also named MVP of the finals, paving the way with a team-high 22 points on 5-for-6 shooting from three-point range and eight rebounds.
Guard Walter Hodge finished with 15 points and four assists, former Bosnia and Herzegovina international Oliver Stevic added 14 points while big man Dejan Borovnjak and Polish international Lukasz Koszarek contributed 13 points apiece.
Zielona Gora had kept Turow to just 65 points to win the first two games of the series on the road (69-65 and 79-65, respectively) and then prevailed 82-78 in Game 3 at home.
They have now ended an almost decade-long duopoly by Sopot and Gdynia, who had collected nine consecutive Polish league titles between them, since 2004.
BUDIVELNYK OUTLAST AZOVMASH
Budivelnyk Kyiv defeated Azovmash Mariupol 82-70 at home in the deciding seventh game of the Ukranian Superleague finals to conclude a highly entertaining series on top and win the title.
Leo Lyons had 27 points and six rebounds for the winners in the decider, while Malcolm Delaney, who was voted MVP of the finals, contributed 19 points and six assists and Michailis Anisimovas chipped in with 14 points in Game 7.
Budivelnyk, who had last won the Ukrainian championship in 2011, have now also edged ahead of Azovmash as the most successful club historically, since the two finalists had entered the final series with seven league titles each in their trophy case.