Unreal comeback: Oostende's 18-0 run in last six minutes eliminates Igokea
LAKTASI (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - It looked like there was going to be another home crowd party as Igokea m:tel opened up an 11-point lead with six minutes to play. But Filou Oostende came back with a massive 18-0 run to win Game 3 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, claiming an 83-77 win to move to Round of 16.
It is the first time this season that Oostende scored less than 85 points and won a game, they were 0-4 before this one, and 4-0 while scoring 85 or more in this season of the Basketball Champions League. Igokea lost only their third game at home in BCL history, after going 8-2 across the first ten games.
Turning point: Igokea were in front for most of the game, opening up big leads and allowing Oostende a way back. It seemed the game was done once Igokea put on another big run, culminating with a Nikola Tanaskovic layup to make it 73-62 with six minutes left.
But Phil Booth had other ideas. He missed the first game in Laktasi because of passport issues, maybe that gave him some additional motivation to finish strong this time around. Assist for a Mikael Jantunen triple; his own two triples, a block on Markel Starks' pull-up attempt, followed by a turnaround two-pointer to give Oostende a 74-73 lead heading into the last two minutes.
Once Booth did his part, it was time for Dusan Djordjevic and Levi Randolph to finish things off. A pair of layups between them made it a two-possession lead, and Phil Booth's two free throws ended the 18-0 run which won the game for the Belgian champs.
Game hero: Levi Randolph did a lot of heavy lifting with 22 points on the night, but Phil Booth's heroics in the fourth quarter showed once again he has the winning mentality. Two time NCAA champion finished with 24 points, hitting 5-of-7 shots from beyond the arc.
Stats don't lie: Igokea had a decent shooting day with 31-of-66 shots made, but it was nowhere near as good as Oostende's. They came into the game with the League's third best offense at 117.5 points per 100 possessions, trailing only Galatasaray Nef and SIG Strasbourg, and they proved their mettle by shooting 27-of-42 from the field, 63 percent.
Bottom line: Igokea end their campaign which saw impressive performances by guys like Markel Starks, De'Shawn Stephens and Dalibor Ilic, unable to make it back to the Round of 16 for the second straight season.
Oostende will now enter Group K, alongside Unicaja, U-BT Cluj Napoca and the winner of the Jerusalem v Prometey Play-In series.
"In the second half Igokea came out stronger, more aggressive. That made them move 10 points up. But we fought back like we always do and got the win." - Haris Bratanovic, Filou Oostende
"Congrats to both teams, this was heavy. We knew it was going to be up and down. I'm happy we managed to win. At the end of the game our defense was...we scored some tough shots, but defensively, we finally got some stops, for example in the Spain pick and roll. From a loss position at -12 we bounced back in the right way and could manage to win the game. Round of 16 is going to be a boost for us. This is now finally a full team. We were really down in a basement, but we shaped up and won the game." - Filou Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja
"We wanted to have some reaction from the last game in Belgium. We did that on our home court, but that reaction was there for 30-something minutes, and after that we didn't close out the game. We didn't recognize the key moments to finish the game." - Stefan Fundic, Igokea m:tel
"Every game in Play-In series should be put into perspective as a best-of-three series, those are a completely different sport than any league game. I feel very sorry for the guys, for everybody involved, the medical team, coaching staff, front office, management, everybody who gave their all in this period which for us wasn't a Play-In series, it was crisis management. We were left without energy and without solution (in the final five minutes). We knew preparing for this series it's important not to allow Oostende to make runs by making threes in a row, and that's exactly what happened in the fourth quarter." - Igokea m:tel head coach Marko Barac