Romania’s Divizia A may be one of the more obscure domestic basketball leagues in Europe, but they’re certainly not lacking in excitement. BallinEurope’s man in Romania, Adi Micinic of TotalBaschet.ro reports in on one heckuva game, replete with stunning clock-expiring finish (totally one of the shots of the year), that went down last night. This video is well worth a watch – and congratulations to new champions U Mobitelco BT Cluj-Napoca, who finally broke CSU Asesoft Ploiesti’s six-year stranglehold on the title.
U Mobitelco BT Cluj-Napoca is the new Romanian national champion. The team coached by Marcel Tenter (Tab Baldwin’s former assistant coach at Cluj-Napoca during the 2007-08 campaign, now in just his second year as head coach of a senior first division team) beat CSU Asesoft Ploiesti, 64-61, in Game 6 of the Divizia A final of the 2010-11 season. Cluj wins the series by 4-2.
U Mobitelco started the game on a 13-4 run and never looked back to take a 31-24 advantage going into the break. Asesoft closed the gap to 36-35 after a 9-0 run during the 3rd quarter, but the hosts finished stronger this interval to take a four point advantage (43-39) heading in the decisive fourth quarter.
Calhoun Qarraan, with a three-point play, leveled the score at 61 going into the final minute of regulation. The hosts missed on the following possession and Asesoft had the chance to win the game and force a decider for the series, but came up short. U Mobitelco rebounded and Tyler Morris scored from half court as time ran out to decide the game in thrilling fashion.
Interestingly, point guard Morris was the last player to arrive in Cluj: He was added at the end of February to replace SG/SF David Lawrence, a more athletic player who never really recovered after a knee injury that required operation.
Asesoft never led in the game, tying it at 61 in the final minute after which they failed to capitalize on the chance to take the lead on the team’s final possession. They accomplished the equalising effort without their most experienced player, Catalin Burlacu, who fouled out.
Zoran Krstanovic was top scorer for Cluj woth 15 points, also adding 9 rebounds. Kyndall Dykes had 13 points, while Branko Cuic finished the game with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Meanwhile, Kevin Ford was top scorer of the game, helping Asesoft with 18 points. Calhoun Qarraan added 13 points for the former champion.
U Mobitelco BT Cluj-Napoca wins the championship for the first time since 1996. They are now a four-time Romanian champion, having won titles in 1992, 1993 and 1996. CSU Asesoft Ploiesti lost for the first time in the championship final. They also lost in the Romanian Cup final against Gaz Metan Medias.