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Levski is the first finalist after dramatic overtime win over Balkan

Levski is the first finalist after dramatic overtime win over Balkan
25-04-2014 | 20:28 |
BC Levski is the first finalist in EUROHOLD Balkan League for third year in a row. In the first semifinal of this season′s Final Four The Blues overcame a big deficit and defeated Balkan 94-85 in overtime. The Greens from Botevgrad led by 15 points before the last quarter but allowed their opponents to come back in the game. After a dramatic final seconds the match went to overtime and in it was decided in the last two minutes.
Balkan started better the game and took the early lead. Thanks to some fast breaks and good offense they managed to move up by 11 points with 2.38 to play in the first quarter. Then Levski took a timeout and responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit. However The Greens still were up by 5 points after ten minutes but then The Blues cut the deficit to just one. Balkan though answered with an 8-2 run to pull ahead and after the finished the half on a 7-1 took an 11-point lead in to the break.
The Greens continued to have the lead in the third quarter and they weren′t allowing Levski to come close. Once they did cut the deficit to 6 points but then Ivan Lilov made important baskets to increase once again the lead. Two triples by Martin Marinov in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter and between them a basket by Zahariev for Levski, gave Balkan a huge 15-point advantage going in to the last ten minutes.
In less then two minutes in to the fourth quarter Levski made a 10-0 run and that got them back in the game. Ivan Lilov stopped that run but Levski was in good moment and just after the middle of the quarter they tied the game. However Balkan scored the next 4 points but Zahariev tied the score with 1.18 to play. Then Balkan missed which gave a chance to Pavel Ivanov to score on a fast break and to give Levski its first lead of the match. With 36 seconds to go Heath scored one free throw but then Martin Marinov scored another triple to tie the score with 26 seconds to play. In the last offense Levski couldn′t score and the game went to overtime.
With the score even in the overtime Heath first made a triple and then a lay up which gave Levski a 5-point lead with 1.34 to play. Then Balkan missed and Chalmers scored a triple in the last second to seal off the outcome.   Top scorer for the winners was Brandon Heath with 23 points as he added also 8 assists. Jumaine Jones added 16 points and 9 rebounds while Nikolay Varbanov scored 14 points.    For Balkan Ivan Lilov had 21 points and 7 assists while Stanimir Marinov added 19 points and 7 rebounds.

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