U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade booked its ticket for the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Championship Game as it dethroned reigning champion U18 Real Madrid with a 74-81 victory for a 2-0 record in Group B of the ANGT Finals. Mega, which came up one step short in 2017 and 2019 in finishing as finalist, fought back from 14 points down and took control of the game with a 2-12 run in the fourth quarter. Nikola Djurisic scored 19 points with 7 assists to pace Mega while Bassala Bagayoko collected 19 points and 12 rebounds, Andrija Jelavic scored 17 points and Timotej Malovec added 12 points. Real forced only 10 Mega turnovers and made just 8-of-10 free throws compared to 19-of-26 for Mega. Urban Klavzar led Real with 17 points, Eli Ndiaye had 16 points and 11 rebounds despite being in foul trouble and Henri Veesaar and Sediq Garuba both chipped in 12 points.
Mega dethrones Real, books spot in ANGT Championship Game
Amadou Doumbia opened the game’s scoring for Real with Jelavic making it 4-3 for the Serbian side. Mega failed to score for more than 3 minutes and Real reeled off 10 straight points for a 14-3 lead. Jelavic snapped the scoring rut and Asim Djulovic cut the margin to 16-9 before Nikolas Cebrian’s three-pointer to put Real up 19-9 after 10 minutes.
<br> Mega had the first three points of the second quarter but Real got three-pointers from Klavzar and Ndiaye and the cushion grew to 30-16 midway through the period. Spurred on by the local fans, Mega fought back into the game with a 0-13 run ending with Djulovic’s three-pointer to bring it to 30-29. Klavzar finally got Real back on the scoring board with two free throws and followed with a three-pointer for a 35-29 cushion, which was 36-30 at the break.
<br> Mega came out of the locker room strong with the first four points until Ismaila Diagne scored for Real after more than 2 minutes. That didn’t stop Mega, which took its first lead on Bagayoko’s big dunk and bonus free throw for 38-39. Veesaar stepped up with two three-pointers, a layup, block and assist on Baba Miller’s alley-oop dunk. But the champs could not pull away as Jelavic, Malovec and Djurisic all hit three-pointers and Bagayoko scored twice inside to even the game 54-54. Klavzar’s score had Real up 56-54 after 30 minutes.
<br> The lead went back and forth in the first half of the final quarter with Garuba scoring eight of Real’s 10 points and Jelavic and Malovec both hitting three-pointers for a tied game 66-66. Bagayoko converted inside to put Mega up and Malovec drained a triple for a 66-71 lead. Malovec added two more baskets and Djulovic knocked down a three-pointer as Mega was up 68-78 with just more than 2 minutes left. Real failed to score on its next two possessions - despite two offensive rebounds - and it was too much of a deficit even though Cebrian and Klavzar both hit three-pointers in the final 35 seconds.