Bakken Bears needed a late surge to pull clear of Hibernia and qualify for the last 32 of the FIBA Europe Cup at the National Basketball Arena. The Danish champions beat the home side 90-67, but there were just 10 points between the sides with 3:30 to go.
“We had a shot to make it a seven-point game and couldn’t call the time out quick enough,” said player coach Colin O’Reilly. “It didn’t cost us the game, but it did put out the margin to where it was.”
Bakken replied with a pair of three-pointers in just 10 seconds to retake control.
Their Spanish point guard was the man at the tiller. “We had to work hard, especially in the second half. We had the belief, and worked hard to find the solution,” said Carles Bivia.
Bivia was the solution himself more often than not. He hit six three-pointers off eight attempts, including three buzzer-beaters and the final nail in Hibernia’s coffin.
It was still a rousing effort from Hibernia to come back into contention in the fourth quarter. Bivia interrupted a 13-point run, which included 11 points from a fist-pumping Lehmon Colbert. His captain was impressed.
“This was the first time in this tournament we could run our own sets and really feel like a team and that’s the difference when you’re playing on your home court,” said Conor Grace.
“Now, we can look forward to next week’s game and believe it’s a game we can win.”
Hibernia have two games left in Group F of the FIBA Europe Cup, against Tajfun of Slovenia and Czech side CEZ Nymburk.
Kyle Hosford 8, Shawn Vanzant 11, Colin O’Reilly 1, Conor Grace 7, Lehmon Colbert 20. Substitutes: Roy Downey 6, Kevin Lacey 4, Keelan Cairns 10.
Carles Bivia 24, Mikkel Plannthin, Nicolai Iversen 2, Darko Jukic 11, Michel Diouf 23. Subsitutes: Sebastian Petersen 3, Aladdin Barakeh, Jacon Nielsen, Thomas Laerke 16, Morten Sahlertz 3, Chris Christoffersen 8, Keane Thomann.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved