BRATISLAVA, May 26 (Xinhua) — The Spis Knights defeated the Levice Patriots 76-75 in a close Game 4 of the Slovak Basketball League playoff finals on Wednesday, closing the best-of-three series at 3-1 and winning the first championship title in the club’s history.
For the first time in 11 years, a club from the Slovak basketball premiership managed to secure a double (the Knights won the cup and also the playoffs).
After losing Game 3 in Levice by almost 50 points, the Spis Knights bounced back and offered a solid performance in Game 4 in front of their home crowd. Led by Serbian center Marko Stevanovic and his double-double of 28 points and 16 rebounds, the Spis Knights managed to build a 12-point lead at halftime and hold onto it until several minutes before the final buzzer.
But the Levice Patriots produced a solid finish, erasing the deficit in the final moments. American go-to-guy Henri Wade-Chatman sunk a difficult three-pointer with 21 seconds left on the clock and tied the score at 75-75.
The Spis Knights let the clock run down on the final attack and American point guard Delano Spencer took it upon himself to try to sink the buzzer-beater. He missed but got fouled during his last-second shot and got to shoot two free throws. Spencer converted on just the first one but it was enough to win the game and with it the playoff finals.
“It was a tough series and a crazy game. It seemed like we had it in the bag but Levice erased the deficit thanks to its strong roster. They almost turned the game around. Luck was on our side in the end, which is a necessary part of sport and life. I’m glad we have lifted the club to where it is now and that we are able to enjoy the championship title,” said the Knights’ coach Teo Hojc after the celebrations with the trophy.
The title of Most Valuable Player went to Knights’ guard Mario Ihring, averaging 35 minutes, 15.9 points, and 6.5 assists per playoff game. Enditem