INSEP won Group B of the Belgrade International Junior Tournament after beating Partizan Belgrade 56-58 in a thrilling match for the group's title on Saturday afternoon in Belgrade, Serbia. The winner will take on KK Buducnost in the second semi-finals of the tournament later on today, while Partizan will face FMP in the first after taking the 2nd spot with a 2-1 record. The winner of the tournament will take the third ticket to the Nike International Junior Tournament which will take place during the 2010 Euroleague Final Four in Paris, France. The fight for the top seed in the group almost went for an overtime, but Aleksandar Radenkovic missed an open lay-up with the buzzer to tie the score. Mathis Keita was the top scorer of INSEP with 19 points including 5 three pointers, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Benjamin John added 12 and Jean-Charles Livio finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Marko Josilo led Partizan with 14 points and Vukasin Vujovic added 11.
It took a couple of minutes for both sides to freeze off before Livio scored the first bucket of the game, but both sides still struggled offensively and Partizan reached just a single field goal in the first five minutes. The giant Nemanja Besovic wrote a three point play in the paint, but John kept INSEP on top. Vukasin Vujovic displayed his ability to create from close and far distance to give Partizan its first lead, 16-15, deep in the first quarter, and back-to-back three pointer by Radenkovic and Stefan Zivanovic set the gap on 29-19 after 15 minutes. John and Keita wrote points for INSEP's back court to finish the first half down by 28-34. Keita continued to collect points with two three pointers in a row that tied the score right after the break, and Livio's hit from the arc gave the lead back to INSEP and capped a 2-13 run. Radenkovic tied the score at 45-45 with the opening basket of the final quarter, but Keita had different plans. The French guard combined 8 points in a row, the last of them an off balance three pointer to beat the shot clock and give his team a 49-55 lead. INSEP marched into the closing 30 seconds with a 53-57 lead and the ball in its hands but Radenkovic drew an offensive foul and right away dished an assist for a three point shot by Josilo. Keita scored just a single shot from the line, leaving Partizan 6 seconds to score, as Josilo took a shot from the arc to win the game. The attempt was too short but fell into the hands of Radenkovic, left wide open under the rim. Pressured just by the ticks on the clock he tried to force an overtime and beat the game clock, but missed a great chance in big disappointment.
Saturday, February 13, 2010