|20 August 2010|
Hungary survived a late rally to top FYR of Macedonia 85-82 and deal a big blow to their hopes of finishing top of EuroBasket Qualifying Round Group B.
Hungary had enjoyed a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter, with a pair of free throws from Adam Hanga putting them on top 65-54.
But the visitors quickly set about getting back into the game as Bo McCalebb, en route to a massive 35 points, hit a pair of free throws and Darko Sokolov followed up with a three-pointer.
McCalebb's lay-up made it a 7-0 run, closing the gap to 65-61 before Akos Horvath nailed a three-pointer to give Hungary breathing space.
But the Balkan team kept on coming, with a Pero Antic dunk and and Predrag Samardziski lay-up making it 68-65.
Horvath and McCalebb exchanged three-pointers, but Akos Keller's jump-shot gave Hungary breathing space and a Hanga free-throw put them up 74-68 with 2:50 to go.
The lead was back to eight, 76-68, on Keller's lay-up, but FYR of Macedonia kept chipping away.
With 18 seconds left, Samardziski got them back to within four, 81-77, and after Marton Fodor missed a pair from the line, McCalebb cut the gap to two on the fast break, and drew a foul in the process, converting the free throw to make it 81-80.
McCalebb fouled Hanga with 10 seconds to go, and he hit both free throws to make it 83-80.
Sokolov converted a pair at the other end to leave it balanced at 83-82 but after Antic committed a quick foul on Fodor he hit both to stretch the lead to 85-82.
The visitors drew up one final play, but Antic missed his three-point attempt as Hungary escaped with the win.
Hanga led Hungary with 21 points, while Horvath and Peter Lorant each had 19 points, with Lorant adding 12 rebounds.
Fodor finished with 15 and Keller had 10 points.
Antic had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the losing team, who must now beat Great Britain on Monday and hope Chris Finch's team suffer at least one more defeat if they are to top the group.