In a show of pride despite being already eliminated from Group E already, Hapoel Galil Elyon outlasted second-place KK Buducnost 82-81 at home in Israel on Friday thanks to Yogev Ohayon's free throws in the closing seconds. The result rewarded for the home fans with a second home victory in the team's debut ULEB Cup season and raised Galil's record to 2-7. Already-qualified Buducnost, meanwhile, could have wrapped up second place in Group E, but instead fellt o 6-3 and might need to fight through the last regular season game to have any home advantage in the elimination rounds. Aaron Nixon led the winners with 19 points on great shooting, 6 for 8 from two-point distance, 1 for 1 on triples and 4 for 5 at the free throw line. Cliff Brown added 17 points for Galil, Gil Mossinson 16 and Ohayon 11. Jai Lewis's offensive rebound and free throws in the final minute let Galil win a game that was close throughout. Buducnost, whose shooters made 13 of 27 triple tries, got 20 points from Nemanja Gordic, who made 4 three-pointers, double the entire Galil team. Vladimir Dasic added 16 points for Buducnost, Vladimir Micov and Marko Popovic 10 each.
Galil led 4-0 early but quickly saw Buducnost score 11 of the next 14 points, capped by Bojan Bakic's two-pointer to make it 7-11. Galil answerd with 7 in a row, but the guests took the lead back up to 14-17 on free throws by Nemanja Gordic. Nixon and Brown turned the tables again for Galil, and when Doron Sheffer dropped in a pair of baskets, the home lead stretched to 27-22 at the end of one quarter. Brown's jumper to start the second quarter made for the highest lead yet, 29-22, but Buducnost responded with a barrage of three-point strikes by Ivan Maras, Gordic and Nikola Otasevic to tie 31-31. Brown and Maras then traded shots from the arc as Galil refused to let Buducnost ahead, using a basket by Nixon and free throws by Avi Ben Chimol to stay in front 44-40 at halftime. Galil's advantage lasted only until Vladimir Dragicevic followed a triple with a closer basket to put Buducnost back in the lead at 45-46 soon after halftime. His next triple expanded the difference to 49-53, but Gil Mossinson's back-to-back baskets got Galil closer before another basket by Brown left the hosts ahead again, 61-60, after three quarters. After Popovic tied it up 63-63 on a triple early in the final quarter, Galil didn't let the lead go until Dasic hit his second triple in a minute to put Buducnost in charge at 69-71. Nixon answered with his own three-pointer on the next shot, but so did Gordic for Buducnost, and when Dasic hit a shorter shot, the guests were up 72-76 with under 4 minutes left. Defenses took over until Mossinson's next basket cut the difference to 75-77. After a timeout, Buducnost missed a couple tries to increase the lead, which Nixon made the guests pay for with a game-tying shot headed into the final minute. Maras had Buducnost's answer, making it 77-79, but after Galil saw Yogev Ohayon make only 1 of 2 free throws, the offensive rebound went to Jai Lewis, who was fouled and made both of his tries for an 80-79 lead. After another, Buducnost got the ball to Gordic, who was fouled by Nixon and made both tries. Buducnost fouled Ohayon again, and this time he was good for both shots, bringing a lot of pride to his team and its fans in the last home game of a tough debut season.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008