In the final game of the Day 1 at the Belgrade NIJT Qualifying Tournament, Mega Vizura Belgrade used a strong finish to the third quarter to come from behind and defeat Cedevita Zagreb 77-85 on Friday night. Both teams hold 1-1 record before their final games in Group B, and need victory on Saturday to advance to the semifinals. Mega plays its city rival Partizan NIS Belgrade, while Cedevita faces Canarias Basketball Academy. Cedevita held 49-42 lead midway through the third quarter, but Mega responded, finishing the quarter with a 2-16 run, and it never relinquished the lead. Vuk Karadzic paced the winners with 18 points, Nikola Pavlovic collected 17 points plus 9 rebounds. Radovan Dokovic had 16 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds, while Mihajlo Bogdanovic chipped in with 10 points. AnteZizic scored 14 for Cedevita, Emir Sabic had 12, and Lovto Mazalin added 11 plus 7 rebounds in defeat.
In the first quarter, Ivan Zebic, Dragan Bender and Sabic each hit a triple for Cedevita, but Dokovic and Matic kept Mega in front 12-16, before back-to-back triples from Karadzic and Djordje Bjelobaba helped Mega Vizura to 17-24 after 10 minutes. Karadzic extended it to 21-29 in the second, but Karlo Miksic got Cedevita rolling. Fastbreak layup from Tim Osolnik, and a triple from Luka Zivko helped put Cedevita in front and hold 36-35 halftime lead. Early in the third, basket-plus-foul from Miksic, and Mazalin’s fastbreak layup and a triple made it 49-42, but Nikola Pavlovic sparked Mega’s run. Dokovic scored 7 points, including a triple at the end of the third quarter for 51-58, and Karadzic made it a 9-point affair at the start of the fourth. Sabic hit a pair, and Ivan Vucic hit one from downtown for Cedevita, but Karadzic nailed back-to-back triples for 62-70. Bogdanovic hit a triple and made a put-back in a 0-7 run that put Mega up 66-77, but Mazalin, Luka Zivko and Vucic scored on three consecutive possessions to keep Cedevita’s hopes alive, getting it to 74-78 with 2 minutes to go. However, Mega held on, and a layup from Karadzic for 74-83 with 40 second left, sealed it.
Friday, February 21, 2014