Balkan defeats Rilski Sportist for the fourth time

Balkan defeats Rilski Sportist for the fourth time
Martines with 26 for Rilski Sportist
01-03-2008 22:25

After CSKA’s loss against Lukoil yesterday and the victory over Rilski Sportist today with 85-75, Balkan already has two wins more than the trailing CSKA and Spartak Pleven in the season standings.  Georgi Mladenov’s players didn’t let the visiting team take the lead even once in the game and took their sixteenth win in the Championship.  After 4 losses in a row the team from Botevgrad finally won and sealed its third place in the men’s A-1. Their previous victory was as guests of Cherno More in Varna on 9th February.
Balkan took the lead from the beginning and at the half they had a 10-point-advantage (47-37). The guest's post players Miko Golubovic and Asen Saraliyski had already accumulated four personal fouls each which made the game a lot easier for their opponents.  
In the 26th minute Rilski Sportist cut down the lead to 56-61 but then 11 unanswered points by the hosts followed for 67-51 after 30 minutes of play in the once more overcrowded “Balkan” hall. That was the biggest lead in the game. 4:35 before the final whistle through a successful shot by Miko Golubovic Rilski Sportist cut down the lead to 9 points but that was the best they could do in this game.
Boban Bilbia scored his season high 20 points and was the most productive player for his team. Ivan Lilov had 19 while Dwayne Morton and Pavle Bolkovac scored 13 each. Despite the loss, the guests fought bravely until the last siren and showed good basketball. Their forward Santos Martines also broke his own record by scoring 26 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double this season. Miko Golubovic didn’t miss even one of his field-goal attempts (7/7) and finished with 15 points.  
Rilski Sportist lost an important aspect of the game - the rebounding. They had only 22 compared to 32 by Balkan.
On Wednesday Balkan is travelling to Yambol for an interesting match against the better and better playing team of Ivan Cholakov while Rilki Sportist hosts Lukoil in Samokov.

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