Balkan League final set
The final of the Balkan League has been set, with the season ending game to be contested between Galil Gilboa and Levski Sofia. Both teams came through their semi-finals to secure a place in the final and both teams now sit one game away from the Balkan League title.
Galil Gilboa vs. Sigal Prishtina, 86-74
Galil Gilboa secured its berth in the Balkan League final by downing Sigal Prishtina 86-74 in a solid win on Friday night. Gilboa was made to work hard for the win as Prishtina commanded the first quarter and picked up a 21-19 lead after 10 minutes. Kosovan team Sigal held onto that lead throughout the second stanza to take a 41-37 advantage into the halftime break. Gilboa´s grip on the Balkan League final was slipping, but the Israeli team started to put better plays together in Q3 and found rhythm in defense. Prishtina continued to press though and the team maintained a five point deficit after 30 minutes, with the scoreboard reading 64-59. Sigal had won each stanza, but Galil exploded in the fourth quarter to score 27 points and reduce Prishtina to just 10 points to claim a good win after a strong comeback.
Levski Sofia vs. Balkan, 94-85 OT
Levski Sofia needed overtime to get the job done against a resilient Balkan team. This Bulgarian derby saw both teams fight throughout regulation before Levski reached the Balkan League final in OT. Sofia started the game slowly and struggled to recover throughout the contest, with Balkan taking a healthy 18-23 lead after 10 minutes. The lead was extended by half time as Balkan once again outscored Levski to hold a 45-34 lead after 20 minutes. The second half started with more Balkan dominance as the team built on its double figure lead to put the score at 68-53. With 15 pints the difference it looked as though Balkan would take the win; however Levski hit 25 points in the final frame and only conceded 10 to tie the game at 82-82 after regulation. The momentum had firmly shifted and Levski Sofia cruised through the extra period to enter the Balkan League final.
Brandon Heath had an impressive all round game for Levski and collected 23 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Jumaine Jones had 16 points and Nikolay Varbanov had 14.
Ivan Lilov stood out with 21 points, 7 assists, and 5 boards in the losing effort, while Pavel Marinov netted 19 points.
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