Young NT lose European Finals
Shlomi Peri ,08/02/2004
History repeats. Just like 4 years ago, Israel's under 20 national team lost to Slovania in the European Finals despite leading through out most of the game. Israel finished 2nd, still a wonderful achivement, and will play in the world championships next year.

The first quarter was all Slovania, who led 20-8 and had no trouble with Israel's zone defense. Israel switched to a man-to-man defense in the 2nd quarter and raced to a 13-0 run led by Lior Eliyahu. Israel led 32-30 at the half despite their star Yotam Halperin being scoreless.

Israel's lead grew to 45-33 early in the 3rd. Israel's posts got into foul trouble but we still held on to a small lead, 54-49 with 5 minutes to play. Solovania's star post player fouled out, and their guards took over.

Point Guard Muchnik cut the lead to 54-53. Both teams missed some free throws and Muchnik hit a huge three to tie it at 58. Yermishin split 2 FTs with 55 seconds to go to give Israel the lead back, but Muchnik on a great drive scored to put Solvania up with 33 seconds.

Halperin missed on the other end, and Raviv Limonad fouled Muchnik, and the refs called it a flagrant. Muchnike made both, Israel fouled again, and Slovania held on,

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