The Koeln 99ers rejoined the race to make it to the elimination rounds in Group B by edging FMP 89-82 in Cologne, Germany on Tuesday. Both teams join a three-way tie with Elan Chalon for the third place in the standings at 2-2, one win away from BK Ventspils, second at 3-1. Milko Bjelica paced the winners with 18 points. Toby Bailey added 16, Immanuel McElroy had 14 while Aleksandar Nadjfeji got 12 for the 99ers. Predrag Samardziski had 19 points for FMP, Bojan Krstovic added 12 while Filip Covic and Zoran Erceg each got 11 for the guests. The 99ers had a strong start, as it led 18-12 after 7 minutes. FMP dominated since that moment, using a mamooth 4-23 run to get its biggest margin, 33-47. Bailey and McElroy led the hosts' comeback in the third quarter while Nadjfeji completed the 99ers' comeback, 59-58. It all came down to the final 4 minutes, as Covic tied the game at 78-78. FMP struggled to score down the stretch, however, while Yassin Idbihi and Bjelica led a 8-0 run that broke the game for good.
Samardziski got FMP going with consecutive baskets but Bailey had 6 points in a 10-1 run that gave the 99ers a 10-5 lead. Idbihi and Nadjfeji stepped up for the hosts to get a 18-12 margin after 7 minutes. Marko Djerasimovic drew 4 fouls and hit 7 free throws while Nemanja Protic followed a three-pointer with a basket for a 21-24 FMP edge. Nadjfeji scored again while Misan Nikagbatse beat the buzzer with a triple that made the 99ers regain the lead, 26-24, after 10 minutes. A three-point play by Nedzad Sinanovic gave the hosts their bigger margin, 29-24. It didn't last long, as Erceg and Krstovic fueled a 1-15 run that put FMP back ahead, 31-39. Bailey stepped up for Alba but Djorjde Micic and Samardziski led an 0-8 run that Krstovic capped with free throws to give FMP a 33-47 margin. Nadjfeji and Bjelica brought the 99ers within 42-52 at halftime. Bailey ignited the hosts' comeback with consecutive triples while McElroy also scored from downtown to get the 99ers within 51-55 after the break. Nadjfeji fed Bjelica for a basket and then scored twice to complete the 99ers' comeback, 59-58. Covic scored for FMP but free throws by Bailey and a triple by Bjelica gave the hosts a 64-60 lead. Erceg followed a triple with free throws for a 66-66 tie after 30 minutes. Krstovic and Dragan Labovic completed the FMP comeback, 70-72. Covic still managed to tie the game, 78-78, with 4 minutes to go, but a three-pointer by Bjelica ignited a 8-0 run that Idbihi capped with a layup-plus-foul to break the game, 86-78. McElroy sealed the outcome with a three-point play in the final minute.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007