This Wednesday, FC Porto lost to Bnei Herzliya (85-83) at Dragão Caixa, but assured a spot in the group stage of the FIBA Europe Cup. The three points victory achieved in Israel (68-65) proved to be decisive and allowed the Dragons to join Group C, which includes Kapfenberg Bulls (Austria), Kataja Basket (Finland) and Mornar Bar (Montenegro).
The blue and whites had a good start and showed they were eager to fight for the qualification until the last second, but Bnei Herzliya was more effective in the first period (24-21). Things changed dramatically in the second ten minutes and FC Porto set up a 25-15 partial, reaching the break with a seven-point lead over the opponent and excellent shooting percentages (46-39).
It was expected that Bnei Herzliya would come back strong after the break and that is exactly what happened: the team from Israel got to the fourth and decisive period ahead of the scoreboard (66-63). The last ten minutes were truly electrifying and uncertain until the end, but they didn’t stop FC Porto from qualifying to the group stage, despite the defeat (85-83). For all that they did in the round overall, it would have been unfair for the Dragons to not qualify.
“We lost, but I'm very happy, as we were better during the 40 minutes. In the final play, they were smart and avoided extra time. The team worked and played well in front of a great level opponent. It’s good to stay in Europe and I’m happy that we qualified directly. When we play with ambition, we play well. We weren’t at our top strength, but the team gave an excellent response and this gives even more value to what we did,” Moncho López stated at the end of the match, talking to Porto Canal.
FC PORTO-BNEI HERZLIYA, 83-85
European Cup FIBA, 2nd qualifying round, 2nd legOctober 11, 2017
Dragão Caixa, Porto
Referees: Anthonie Sinterniklaas (Netherlands), Zoran Mitrovski (Macedonia) and Hugues Thepenier (France)
FC Porto: Pedro Pinto (11), Marcus Gilbert (5), Miguel Queiroz (8), Will Hanley (16) and Sasa Borovnjak (18)
Also played: André Bessa, Pedro Bastos (13), Ferrán Ventura (3), António Monteiro (9), Miguel Miranda, Vladyslav Voytso and Keven Gomes
Coach: Moncho López
BNEI HERZLIYA: Taurean Green (8), Shawn Dawson (14), Tom Maayan (2), Jeff Adrien (18) and Halil Kanacevic (13)
Also played: Samuel Singer (7), Xavier Thames (11), Derrick Sharp, Amit Erlich, Noam Avivi, Alex Rosenberg (8) and Dominique Archie
Coach: Michael Gorke
At halftime: 46-39
Partials: 21-24, 25-15, 17-27, 20-19