Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv finished the games in Group A with a perfect 3-0 record following an 81-75 victory over KK Zadar in Day 2 of the Barking Abbey Academy Euroleague Basketball Junior Classification Tournament on Friday afternoon in London, England. This is the fourth and last qualifying tournament whose winner will advance to the annual Nike International Junior Tournament, whichl takes place during the 2010 Euroleague Final Four in Paris, France. A close game for 40 minutes saw Maccabi hold the better score coming inside the closing minutes. Zadar, fighting hard for a first win, now only to cut down the margin, but earned respect for its fighting spirit. Sean Labanowski topped the list of Maccabi scorers with 22 points and 6 rebounds, Tamir Simchony added 13 with 11 perfect hits from the free throw line while Michael Zalmanovic and Axel Van-Ouwerkerk scored 11 each. Emilio Banic led Zadar with 26 points and Franko Sango scored 23.
Labanowski and Zalmanovic led the way for Maccabi in the first quarter, combined for 14 points of a 21-19 yellow-and-blue lead. Zalmanovic continued his good rhythm to reach 11 quick points in 13 minutes, as his team took a 30-23 margin. Sango scored from close and far range, and a two-pointer by Donat Milin gave Zadar the lead back, 38-39, after 17 minutes. Labanowski wanted to change the picture, and with back-to-back three-pointers reached 16 points and sent Maccabi to a 44-42 half time lead. Orel Lev was active enough to score quick 6 points and put the team from Israel up 53-46 after halfitme, but Banic and Sango didn't give up and scored the last 5 points of the third quarter to cut the difference to just 2. Maccabi, however, answered with quick a 6 in the fourth quarter and took a safe lead again, 70-61, going into the last 4 minutes. Zadar moved to full court pressure, and forced turnovers to score quick and easy points, getting within 3 points before Simchony scored 4 in a row from the line to secure the win.
Friday, February 19, 2010