Rilski holds on to set up a clash for the first place
Rilski Sportist recorded win number 10 of the season in SIGAL-UNIQA Balkan League. The Samokov team defeated BC Akademik Bultex 99 92-85 at home and is now tied for the first position with KK Blokotehna. Next week both teams will meet in Gevgelija and will decide who will grab it before the Final 4. For the Plovdiv team this was the sixth defeat of the season but they can still finish third if they win against Levski by 3 points next week. The match tonight was very close, especially in the second half but the hosts managed to escape with the win.
The visitors started the game very well and scored the first 8 points. They continued to lead after and had a good 6-point advantage after one quarter. Akademik′s lead went to 9 points in the middle of the second but then Rilski responded on an 11-0 to take its first lead. The teams continued to be close until the break as the home side was by 4 after 20 minutes.
The third quarter was really close as both teams exchanged baskets and no one took any by lead. That happened right at the end of it when Rilski managed to finish it with 5 straight points to go up by 7. Akademik bounced back right after the fourth period started and the game was decided in the end after the teams stayed close. With 1.14 to go Martin Marinov scored a triple to put them up by 5 and then they managed to close out with a victory.
The hosts overcame a bad shooting night from long distance as they hit just 4 of 18 three-pointers while Akademik was 12 of 39.
Travis Taylor was the top scorer for the winners with 25 points. Evan Ravenel had 19 and 11 rebounds for a double-double as Martin Marinov added 16 points.
The visitors were led by Martin Durchev and his 19 points while Isiah Umipig and Vasil Bachev scored 18 apiece.