| KK Split Croatia Osiguranje earned its first victory in the Nike International Junior Tournament by outscoring Benetton Basket Treviso 81-76 on the first game of Day 3 on a Saturday afternoon in Paris, France. This win bestows Split the third spot in Group A in a 1-2 record while Benetton finished the games with a 0-3 balance. Split recovered quickly from the aching loss by the buzzer yesterday to FMP and enjoyed a great start, but Benetton came back in the third quarter, before a couple of big blocks by Esben Reinholt in the last minute decided the game in favor of Split. Toni Katic led the winning side with 23 points and 7 assists, Filip Najev added 17 with 15 rebounds and 5 blocks while Bruno Markulin scored 15. Benetton saw 18 points by Armin Mazic, Alessandro Zanelli scored 15 while 14 points with 12 rebounds came from the big Andrea Quarisa.
Markulin was on fire from the start and burried two hits from downtown after 2 minutes, and when Najev became active around the rim Split took a 16-4 lead. Pavlin Ivanov wrote a steal and finished with a big dunk twice in a row, which helped Benetton to cut on the margin, but Najev showed his activity with points on one side and a block on the other to write an 11 point difference after 10 minutes, 29-18. Katic on one side kept Split's lead safe, but Zanelli made sure the gap will remain reachable, 37-27 after 15 minutes, and just 13 at the break, 49-36. Zanelli opened the 2nd half with 5 points in a row, but only when Mazic found his rhythm Benetton cut the margin down to 3, 61-58 with 12 minutes to play. Katic pushed it up to 66-58 only to see Benetton react with 9 unanswered points and take the lead back for the first time in the game, after 34 minutes. Josip Matic broke the stoppage and put the lead back in Split's hands, but Benetton still focused. After Katic scored a lay up to make it 76-74 inside the last 2 minutes. Mazic tried to beat it with a three pointer, but saw Reinhold come out of nowhere for a big block. Katic used the chance to score twice from the line, but Split got one more chance to send the game to overtime, but Reinhold once again rejected the shot from the arc, and sealed the win for his side.
Saturday, May 08, 2010