USK Future Stars Prague is the first team to make the Barking Abbey Academy Euroleague Basketball Junior Classification Tournament final game following a 76-66 win over Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv in the first semi-finals game on Saturday morning in London, England. Prague will face in the title game the winner between Barking Abbey and Union Olimpija Ljubljana in hope to win the ticket to the Nike International Junior Tournament to be played in Paris, France during the 2010 Euroleague Final Four games. USK used a 14-2 run in the closing minutes to take over the game and earn the pass to the gold medal match. A great performance by Tomer Bar Even carried Maccabi for three and a half quarters, but the team from Prague dominated the boards 45-29 and used a great shooting day by Tomas Kyzlink to finish on top. Kyzlink had 19 points with 5 three pointers, Michal Sotnar added 14 with 5 assists and Ondrej Balvin dominated with 10 points and 10 boards. Bar Even reached 29 points with 5 rebounds and 5 steals, while Tamir Simchony finished with 13 points and 7 assists.
Maccabi took an early 4-12 lead with Sean Labanowski and Bar Even sharing the points. Simchony joined Bar Even in Maccabi's back court to create things and give their team a 16-10 lead after ten minutes of game. Kyzlink scored his first basket from the arc, to start the second quarter, and added his second right away to cut the difference to 19-20. Orel Lev came off the bench to make things happen but Lukas Festr sank another downtown bomb to give his team its first lead in the night, 26-25 after 16 minutes. Balvin scored his first points with an offensive board, and soon added a couple from the line to set the half time score on 35-28 in favor of the Czech side.
Bar Even who scored 10 points in the first half took over the game, coming back from the locker room. A big three pointer was followed with a behind the back assist and constact production as Maccabi wrote a 3-14 run and near the 3rd quarter break with a 40-47 lead. Early in the closing quarter Maccabi's top scorer showed he's still in the groove with 5 points in a row to set a comfortable 45-54 lead with 8 minutes on the game clock, but then it was time for Kyzlink to step up. He hit back-to-back three pointers and added a steal to lead an 11-2 run to tie the game with 6 minutes on the clock. Bar Even still gave Maccabi a 61-63 lead inside the last 4 minutes, but that was the last time Maccabi were on top today. Balvin and Jaroslav Moravek dominated the boards on both ends of the floor and when Balvin converted one to a basket and drew an unsportsmanlike foul on the same play, USK climbed to a 71-63 with less than a minute to play. Maccabi tried to create quick points but failed, allowing USK to advance further in the competition.
Saturday, February 20, 2010