FMP remains unbeatable after the opening game in Day 2 of the Nike International Junior Tournament, but if the first game saw FMP win easily, today's match against KK Split Croatia Osiguranje was a great thriller. After trailing throughout most of the game FMP's Nenad Miljenovic hit an off balance three pointer with the buzzer to give his team a 74-72 win and a 2-0 record in Group A. Split will seek its first win tomorrow against Benetton Basket while FMP will battle Unicaja for the top standings in the group, and the ticket to the title game. Miljenovic finished with a game high of 23 points and 6 rebounds making 16 out of 19 free throw shots. The winning three pointer was the first he hit after missing his first 4 attempts. Nikola Jankovic and Luke Pajkovic added 15 points each with the first adding 11 rebounds. Split made a heroic performance and had the game in its hands. Esben Reinholt had 19 points for the losing side, Filip Najev added 17 with 13 rebounds and Vicko Perasovic scored 12.
The teams went neck-to-neck in the first 10 minutes as the big forwards played a key role on both ends, hinting the future hard nosed fight expected to develop. Split found the path to create a run first when Perasovic scored 7 quick points, and make it 28-19 in favor of his team after 17 minutes. Miljenovic took responsibility, and scored 4 points in a row, to make it look better, but Perasovic hit another jumper as Split finished the first half up 33-28. Miljenovic continued to cause havoc in Split's defense and Jankovic made damage in the paint, but Split continued to carry the lead thanks to Reinhold who collected points all over the court, and the great job of Najev under the boards. Pajkovic did a good job on defense but added a key three pointer early in the 4th, but Najev and Reinholt were still in charge, and denied any attempt of FMP taking over the lead. FMP stepped up its efforts, and played aggressive, to enter the last minute down by just a point, 69-70. Toni Katic slashed to the rim but missed, and Najev grabbed the rebound and was fouled, yet both his shots went out. Miljenovic showed him how it gets done on the other side and FMP was on top once again with 7 seconds to play, and Split called a time out. Big mistake on defense left Bruno Markulin open under the board and the Croatian shooter scored in ease, and FMP had to create a quick reply. With no time outs left, the solution was easy. Miljenovic took the ball from one side to the other, and between three Split players found the space to create an off balance jumper beyond the arc, as the ball slowly made its way inside the rim, and give FMP the desired win.
Friday, May 7, 2010