Academic Bultex 99 qualifies for the Final Four with fifth win in a row
BC Academic Bultex 99 is now certaing of its place in the Final Four. The Plovdiv team defeated BC Barsy Atyrau 81-67 at home and can′t go lower than 4th place until the end of the Regular season. Academic′s victory means also that BC Beroe is now 100% guaranteed a place in the Finals in April even with five more games left to play for the Stara Zagora team.
Academic managed to use a great run at the end of the third quarter which was enough to build an important advantage. The victory puts the team on a 7-3 record which is tied for the first place with KS Teuta. Barsy is now with 1-6 record but still has a chance for the Top 4. However that goes through five wins in the team′s remaining games and also other results going in their favour. Tomorrow the Kazakhstan side will visit Beroe while Academic will play The Greens next week in Stara Zagora.
Both teams couldn′t find a basket in the first three minutes and it was the hosts who opened up the scoring. Then they managed to build a 7-point advantage which became 8 just as the first quarter finished. Early in the second the difference reached double-digits but Barsy was able to respond. The visitors were able to make a 10-2 run near the end of the first half to cut their deficit to just a point before Knight made two free throws to make it 3 at the break.
The visitors made a statement early in the second half by starting with a 4-0 run and taking the lead. Academic however went on a 13-3 run to go up by 9 points but Barsy quickly cut the deficit to just 4. The hosts however finished the third quarter on a 10-0 run which gave them 14-point edge. That turned out to be the decisive moment of the game as in the last ten minutes the visitors didn′t have any chance.
Daishon Knight was teh top scorer for the winners with 17 points. Peter Olisemeka had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds as Aleksandar Gruev scored 11.
The visitors were led by Akradiy Mkrtychyan who had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The American Christopher McEchean and Donte McGill both made their BIBL debuts by scoring 11 points apiece.