Nes Ziona defeated Arged BMSLAM Stal 82-74 to capture the FIBA Europe Cup title at Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv. Captain Tal Dunne hoisted the European Championship Trophy into the air in front of 4,000 cheering fans as he was mobbed by teammates and staff to celebrate the clubs first ever continental title.
Brad Greenberg’s team controlled the first half with strong play by Patrick Miller, Jerome Meyinsse and Braian Angola but Stal came storming back in the third quarter scoring 30 points thanks to Jakub Garbacz’s sharpshooting has taking a 65-59 lead. However, huge baskets by Nimrod Levi and Lior Carreira in the final frame along with stifling defense shut the Polish squad down as the Israeli squad took the title.
Nimrod Levi and Braian Angola each scored 15 points, Jerome Meyinsse added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Wayne Selden scored 11 points and Lior Carreira chipped in with 10 points in the victory. Jakub Garbacz led Stal with 19 points as George Kell and Denzel Andersson each added 12 points in the defeat.
Nes Ziona had advanced to the title game after nipping VTB team Parma 81-80 on a game winning 3-pointer by former NBA swingman Wayne Selden. With strong performances in Friday’s semifinal by captain Tal Dunne who played with a hand injury while also sustaining a head laceration during the course of play, to terrific games by Nimrod Levi and Patrick Miller, Brad Greenberg’s squad was primed and ready to go in the final.
Their foes, Arged BMSLAM Stal punched their ticket to the championship clash with a 77-66 win over Oradea as George Kell and Denzel Andersson led the way for the Polish squad. Nes Ziona’s only blemish during the course of their European campaign was inflicted by the same club during group play in January as they looked to avenge the loss.
Nes Ziona got off to a hot start as Tal Dunne sent a perfect outlet pass to Jerome Meyinsse who slammed the ball home, Braian Angola drilled a corner triple but Stal’s Jakub Garbacz matched him at the other end of the floor as the hosts held a 9-7 lead midway through the first quarter. Wayne Selden nailed a corner 3-pointer but Denzel Andersson went to work for the visitors while Garbacz also went from downtown, however, Meyinsse scored on the inside and Lior Carreira found points from the outside to end the frame up 26-22.
Nimrod Levi filled the basket early on in the second quarter for Brad Greenberg’s team Selden added points but Kell and Mark Ogden answered for Stal as Nes Ziona stayed in front 36-30. Meyinsse and Patrick Miller scored in the paint, Andersson and Kell answered at the other end but Nes Ziona took a 42-35 advantage into halftime.
Garbacz got the third quarter underway with a pair of 3-pointers but Angola immediately matched his shot for shot and added a third triple for good measure to keep Nes Ziona ahead 51-43 midway through the period. Garbacz wouldn’t be outdone and hit two more from long distance, Andersson and Chris Smith answered for Stal to give them a lead as Selden and Meyinsse tried to keep the hosts close, down 65-59.
Levi opened the fourth quarter with a layup and hit a pair of free throws while Carreira added a deuce to tie the game in at 65 with 8:02 remaining in regulation forcing Stal’s coach Igor Milicic to call timeout. Carreira scored a pair of baskets in the paint, Nimrod Levi drilled home a triple, but Florence did the same at the other end, however, Levi wouldn’t be denied as he added another bucket in the paint and Selden scored a layup to put the finishing touches on Nes Ziona’s first ever European title.