FMP juniors fall at Nike Global Challenge
August 9, 2009
FMP junior Svetozar StamenkovicDespite a monster performance by one of its signature stars, FMP of Serbia fell out of the running for the Nike Global Challenge tournament title with two early losses this weekend in Portland, Oregon, USA. FMP got ambushed in its first game, losing 97-66 on Friday against Canada as Aleksandar Ponjavic scored 17 points and Svetozar Stamenkovic 16. Falling behind by 51-28 at halftime left FMP with little chance to overcome the Canadian national team. FMP tried to bounce back on Saturday, but was the victim of bad luck in a 94-103 overtime loss to USA Midwest, one of three host teams. Stamenkovic was unbelievable in that losing effort, socring 35 points on 13-for-21 shooting while pulling 14 rebounds in 37 minutes. Filip Djuran added 18 points for FMP. The game developed as a duel between Stamenkovic and Harrison Barnes, who had 46 points and 14 rebounds for USA Midwest, making 12 of his 13 free throws. FMP led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter before Barnes propelled USA Midwest back into the lead. Mladen Strahinja made 2 of 2 free throws for FMP with 1 second left in regulation time to force the five-minute extra period, where USA Midwest dominated. FMP got its only victory in the seventh-place game on Sunday, outlasting an All-Asia team by 77-75 as Stamenkovic again went wild, scoring 38 points this time while pulling 12 rebounds. USA East won the title by beating Canada 105-104. The Nike Global Challenge featured eight teams from five continents. FMP had qualified to the tournament for a second consecutive year as champions of the NIKE International Junior Tournament at the Euroleague Final Four last spring.
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