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Szolnoki Top Telekom To Stay Alive

28 February 2012
EUROCHALLENGE

10. Hristo Nikolov (Szolnoki Olaj)
Hristo Nikolov led Szolnoki Olaj with 21 points

A fourth-quarter rally fell short as Telekom Baskets Bonn went down 96-94 to Szolnoki Olaj to leave Group J on a knife edge.

The defeat left both teams at 3-3, and Telekom relying on leaders Elan Chalon to see off Generali Okapi Aalstar to secure their progression to the quarter-finals of the EuroChallenge.

Telekom had led 50-44 at half-time, but watched the hosts run away with the third quarter to hold a 72-65 edge at the start of the final period.

The lead grew to 10 on Zoltan Trepak's early three-pointer but Benas Veikalas hit right back for Telekom and free throws from Zvonko Buljan made it a five-point game.

Szolnoki reeled off six straight points and led 81-70 on Akos Horvath's three-pointer. Their lead was six, 90-84, with 2:23 left but Talor Battle's three-pointer halved that and the visitors were within touching distance when Anthony Gaffney's lay-up made it 94-91 with 42 seconds left.

Simonas Serapinas lay-up then made it a one-point game, and Horvath gave Telekom hope when he could only split a pair of free throws with 12 second left to leave them 95-93 in front.

The nerves were showing as Battle only made one of two at the other end, and then Mills did likewise for Szolnoki with six seconds left.

However, they hung on to their two-point lead as Veikalas came up empty with a three-point attempt at the buzzer.

Hristo Nikolov led Szolnoki with 21 points while Horvath had 19 and Obie Trotter 18.
Mills added 12 points and Brandon Gay also reached double figures with 11.

Buljan poured in 26 points for Telekom while Serapinas had 16, and Veikalas, Battle and Chris Ensminger finished with 12 apiece.

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