Bratislava, Feb 2 (IANS) In a thrilling battle in the Slovak Basketball Leauge, the Levice Patriots edged out Lucenec 84-79 and reclaimed the second position on the table in the 27th round this weekend.
The team from Levice vied to pay Lucenec back for a last-second defeat and an OT loss from their previous two match-ups, and managed to make it through a tough game, rallying back from a four point deficit at half time.
Levice center Viktor Juricek led the scoring with 20 points and five rebounds, reports Xinhua news agency.
It will be a close battle for eighth, the final playoff spot, in the standings, with both Komarno and Spisska Nova Ves battling it out at the bottom of the league with an identical record of six victories and 18 defeats.
Spisska Nova Ves managed to defeat Handlova 72-67 on Saturday and thus draw even with Komarno who lost to the fourth-ranked Zilina 91-74.
Handlova is in a tight spot. After losing three in a row, the team from the traditional Slovak mining town decided to let go of its Serbian coach Branko Maksimovic and is temporarily managed by its two most experienced players.
The provisional coaching set-up did not discourage Handlova and the team was even leading at half-time but a miserable third period followed which saw the visitors’ lead dwindle and enabled Spisska Nova Ves to get on top and triumph thanks to four three-pointers in the final stretch.
Aleksandar Radukic’s 21 points and 19 rebounds did not stop Handlova from losing its fifth in a row.
After a comfortable victory over Komarno, Zilina tied third-ranked Lucenec’s record of 14 wins and 10 defeats. The league’s current Player of the Month, Miles Bowman, led the team with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Elsewhere, sixth-placed Svit made a great effort to stay in contact with the middle pack of the standings, triumphing over its neighbor Prievidza 87-76 after two consecutive defeats.
Increased aggressiveness and better rebounding adorned Svit’s performance in the physically demanding match-up. Sasa Avramovic scored 27 points and picked up seven boards to guide Svit to victory.