U18 Mega Leks Belgrade set up a date with U18 Stellazzurra Basketball Academy Rome for the title at the Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Qualifying Tournament – Torneo Citta di Roma by racing past U18 Unicaja Malaga 44-87. Aleksandar Aranitovic, who has played in the last two ANGT Finals with U18 Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade, collected 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, while Novak Music amassed 23 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals as Mega clinched first place in Group B with a 2-1 record. The Serbian club, which also received 13 points from Jovan Vojinovic, will face off with reigning ANGT Rome champion Stellazzurra in Tuesday’s final at 18:00 CET. Unicaja, which scored just 3 points in the third quarter, was led by Ablaye Sow’s 8 points and 10 rebounds. Unicaja lost its first game of the ANGT Rome and will take on U18 Virtus Bologna for third place.
Sow’s free throws started the scoring and were evened up by Goga Bitadze for Mega. The lead was 6-2 after baskets from Sow and Ignacio Trujillo, and 2 points from both Ivan Raut and Ignacio Rosa had Unicaja ahead 12-5. Bogdan Nedeljkovic and Music answered with back-to-back three-pointers to start a 2-11 run to put Mega up 14-16. Raut tied the game again before Novak’s layup with 2 seconds left in the first quarter made it 19-21. Sow and Trujillo pushed Unicaja ahead 23-22 early in the second quarter before a Vojinovic three-pointer and Bitadze basket opened a 23-27 margin. The gap hit double digits for the first time after 4 points from Marko Pecarski and a three-point play from Aranitovic, 25-36. Mega’s advantage was 27-38 at the intermission.
Mega wasted no time putting Stellazzurra away early in the second half with a 2-20 run with Aranitovic scoring 7 points and Music 6. Aranitovic, Aleksa Matic and Music nailed three-pointers as Mega scored the final 11 points of the quarter for a 30-69 lead. Music tallied the first 5 points of the fourth quarter as the advantage swelled to 30-74. Mega took its foot off the gas and scored just 1 free throw in the next four minutes while Franco Acosta tallied 4 points to help Unicaja trim the deficit to 38-75 with four minutes to play. Unicaja did not get closer than 36 points the rest of the way.
Monday, December 28, 2015