In the Round 14 of the ABA league, Mega MIS basketball players defeated FMP Meridian in the Ranko Žeravica Sports Hall 77:72 (18:19, 19:18, 19:22, 21:13). What kind of fight both teams gave is best shown by the fact that the score was tied at halftime, and that the teams constantly changed the lead throughout the game. Still, Marko Barać’s players had a better focus in the end. They played their best when it was most needed and reached an important triumph in a dramatic finish. Mega recorded its fourth victory (4-10), while FMP suffered its fourth defeat (10-4).
Matej Rudan was the best scorer of Mega with 16 points (seven rebounds), followed by Nikola Đurišić with 14 (PIR 18), but Ahmaad Rorie was the MVP of Barac’s team with 12 points, four rebounds, and assists for a PIR of 20. Captain Luka Cerovina followed the trio with 11 points, and young center Mihailo Musikic with eight points and six boards.
For FMP, Trent Frazier scored 29 points, Beau Beach added 13, and Nikola Šaranović added 12. Mega won the battle under the rims, as FMP big men Ebuka Izundu and Nikola Jankovic had no points.
Mega basketball players opened the match fantastically. They dominated on the rebound and took a 10:2 lead, then reached 17:6, but the end of the quarter belonged to the guests, who, with a 13:1 run, achieved a complete turnaround before the first break. FMP was in the lead for most of the second period, only for Barac’s company to regain the lead after a three-pointer by Rorie two minutes before the big break. A seesaw of results followed, to go to halftime with a tied score – 37:37.
After Stefanovic’s triple in the opening minutes of the third period, Mega reached a five-point lead, but the rival responded with 12 tied points. The home players responded again, and after a three-pointer by Cerovina, they regained the lead precisely one minute before the end of the period, but they faced the last 10 minutes with a three-point deficit. As expected, a big fight followed in the decisive quarter. Mega managed to break away with a 7:0 run, but the team from Železnik did not give up, so the game went to an exciting finale. Nevertheless, Barać’s players were patient, played selflessly in defense, and on the offense scored just enough to preserve the surplus and record the victory.
Mega MIS: Rudan 16, Uskokovic 3, Cazalon 4, Đurišić 14, Kovačević 4, Cerovina 11, Rorie 12, Grbović, Marković, Mušikić 8, Stefanović 5
FMP Meridian: Frazier 29, Beach 13, Stepanović 2, Saranović 12, Simović, Matović 6, Izundu, Vuković, Janković, Jenkins 3, Vujičić, Valinskas
In the next round, the Mega MIS basketball players will visit the Igokea team in Laktaši, and the match is scheduled for Saturday, January 14, from 5:00 p.m.
Photo: Mega MIS/Ivica Veselinov