It was the debut that all coaches dream of, victory after a well-fought. And this time the dream of the new Buducnost coach, Miodrag Kadija, became relity as his team won its first Euroleague game at home 77-72 versus Krka Novo Mesto. It was also Buducnost's second win in a row, the other coming under now-resigned coach Zoran Stretenovic, giving the Yugoslav champs a 2-4 record. Dejan Milojevic exploded for a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds the winners, while Aleksandar Smiljanic backed him up with 17. For Krka, which is also now 2-4, Bennett Davison scored 17 points and Mate Skelin 13. Krka had led 54-61 early in the fourth quarter when Milojevic hit two three-pointers and Smiljanic one to send Buducnost and its new coach on its way to the perfect ending in their first game together.
Buducnost controlled game for the first 7 minutes. Then Krka took a lead, thanks to Skelin and Dragisa Drobnjak taking advantage of Buducnost center Nikola Jestratijevic getting three fouls in the first five minutes. The visitors finished that period with a 12-20 lead. In second period Novo Mesto made an 0-9 run that expanded their lead to 16 points, 33-17, after 15 minutes. That put a scare in to Buducnost that inspired the home team to trim the deficit to 27-37 by halftime. Two minutes into the third quarter, Buducnost struck with a 12-2 run that was good for a 43-43 tie, but didn't wasn't strong enough yet to take the game over. Krka got 6 points then from Davison and was able to hold a 53-48 lead at the end of the quarter.
Dragan Vuckcevic missed Buducnost's 12th three-pointer in 13 attempts to begin the final period, and when Bennett followed with a three-point play, Buducnost looked to be in real trouble, down 54-61. But basketball is not a game for the weak of heart, and suddenly Milojevic drilled back-to-back threes that cut the deficit to 60-61 and forced a Novo Mesto timeout. It¿s incredible how the emotions can change a game! After his team had gone 1 for 13 from behind the arc, Milojevic hit his two and Smiljanic added his own as Buducnost went ahead 66-63. But Novo Mesto refused to die as Bennett tied it 66-66. Milojevic had to be the hero, however, and he made sure with five points in a row for a new 71-68 lead and a decisive steal soon after.
Thursday, November 15, 2001