Croatian Trio Too Hot To Handle

03 September 2011


Turning Point: Croatia was on fire at the start of the third quarter and once they outscored their opponent 12-3 to open up a 13-point lead, Montenegro was always chasing the game.

Game Heroes: Ante Tomic produced a classy performance for Croatia with 26 points and eight rebounds while Dontaye Draper didn't shoot the ball great but finished with 12 assists. Marko Popovic meanwhile sunk seven of 11 triples in his 23-point haul.

Stats Don't Lie: In stark contrast to Tomic, Nikola Pekovic was well shackled defensively by Croatia and no better highlighted by the fact he had just nine points and four field goal attempts.

Croatia's big guns were firing on all cylinders as they helped secure a nervy 87-81 win against Montenegro in Group C.

With Ante Tomic pretty much unstoppable inside and both Dontaye Draper and Marko Popovic also making significant contributions, the result had rarely looked in doubt after Croatia took full control early in the second half.

However a late fight-back by Montenegro who at one point had trailed 60-45 gave the Croatians plenty to think about as their lead evaporated to just three points before composing themselves to secure the win.

Croatia had generally been on top throughout the first half having raced into a commanding 23-11 lead thanks mainly to a scoring run of 11 points without reply.

While Montenegro did rally, they still trailed 46-42 at the midway point of the game.

Croatia began to put their foot on the accelerator to shift through the gears early in the third.

Montenegro struggled to cope and found soon themselves 15 points behind.

While they worked hard to cut the margin to 80-77 during the closing stages of the game, Croatia had too many players in good form to lose as they had done in their previous game against F.Y.R. of Macedonia.


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