U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade rallied from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to knock off U18 Maccabi Tel Aviv 87-85 and remain perfect at the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals. Mega went into the game having already locked up its spot in Saturday’s ANGT Championship Game and used an 18-4 run in the final frame to get back into the game before Bogoljub Markovic hit the game-winning free throws with 6.1 seconds left. Markovic finished with 29 points while Nikola Djapa scored 19 points and Aleksa Milenkovic chipped in 11 points for the 2017 and 2019 finalist, who will face U18 Next Generation Select Team on Saturday for the 2022 trophy. While Mega finished Group A play with a 3-0 record, Maccabi dropped to 0-3 despite Roi Behar scoring 19 points and Shachar Doron picking up 18 points.
With starters resting, Mega rallies to beat Maccabi
With Mega already in the ANGT Championship Game, Mega head coach Dragoljub Avramovic rested his starting five. Doron opened the scoring for Maccabi and Milenkovic scored four points in a 10-2 run to lead 10-4. It was still a six-point lead when Doron hit two three-pointers to help Maccabi pull ahead 18-19. Behar also had a triple and Maccabi led 21-22 after 10 minutes.
The game remained close the entire second quarter with four points being the biggest lead. There were eight lead changes before Maccabi went ahead 32-33 and a triple from Ido Iluz made it 32-36. The Israeli side was up 36-38 at the break.
It remained tight through most of the third quarter with four ties and then Omer Mayer, Doron, Behar and Ori Ziv Cohen all hit three-pointers for a 54-60 cushion. Behar added another triple to help Maccabi lead 56-65 after 30 minutes.
Noam Yaacobi also hit a three-pointer and the advantage grew to 57-70. Mega rushed back into the game with the next 10 points in 2 minutes and Sergej Jeremic and Djapa added three-pointers to nose ahead 75-74 with an 18-4 run. Behar punched back with a three-pointer and a Tomer Agmon jumper put Maccabi up 79-83. Mega was not done and a Danilo Dozic three-point play knotted the game 83-83. Both teams scored and then failed to convert before Doron missed a three-pointer to give Mega the chance to decide it. Markovic was fouled and made both foul shots with 6.1 seconds to play. And the win was Mega’s when Behar’s jumper was off target.