Alba Fehervar go all the way in Hungary
SZEKESFEHERVAR (Hungarian National Championship I/A) – Alba Fehervar, who reached the Second Round in the FIBA Europe Cup, came out victorious in a gripping title race in Hungary for the club's fifth domestic championship.
Having defeated Falco 78-71 in the decisive Game 5 of the Hungarian National Championship I/A Finals, the Branislav Dzunic-coached side edged their opponents from Szombathely 3-2 in the gold-medal series.
5x-ös Magyar Bajnok és 4x-es Kupa győztes Alba Fehérvár 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/5x8bcK3bAD— Alba Fehérvár Basket (@alba_fehervar) June 19, 2017
The home side dominated the game from the start and were up 71-51 in the 34th minute, but the game had an unexpected twist, when the visitors mounted a last-ditch comeback attempt with a 20-4 run that made it a two-possession game. However, with time on their side, Alba managed to hold on to the lead.
"We met a very strong opponent in the Finals, it certainly isn't an accident Falco made it this far in the Play-Offs," said coach Dzunic after the final buzzer. "I really want to give a lot of credit to my players, not just because we went all the way in the Play-Offs, but for what we managed to accomplish throughout the season. We obtained the most victories by winning the Regular Season and the Second Phase on our way to the league title."
Winston Shepard was the top scorer for the Szekesfehervar club with 18 points, Alhaji Mohammed, who arrived to the team from Mures midway through the season, collected 15 points, while Justin Edward chipped in with 13 points.
"Unfortunately, we played terribly in the first half. We managed to make it a close game and nearly tied things up towards the end, showing we are capable of playing well, but Alba won deservedly," said Falco head coach Srecko Sekulovic, tipping his hat to the new Hungarian champions.
Having won their first title for the first time since 2013, Alba ended the recent dominance of Szolnoki Olaj, who had won the past three editions of the domestic championship, but were eliminated already in the Quarter-Finals by Zalakeramia.
Alba, who had lost to Szolnok in the Finals last year, made easy work of Zalakeramia in the Semi-Finals, winning the series 3-1 before taking care of business against Falco in the Finals.
At the same time, fellow FIBA Europe Cup competitors Kormend, who were the only Hungarian team to reach the Round of 16, couldn't carry over their success to the domestic front, failing to secure a podium finish after losing the bronze-medal series to ZTE KK 2-0.
Meanwhile, Sopron had a tough season in the Hungarian National Division A/I, as they removed themselves from the Play-Off picture with sluggish play at the end of the season.