Photo: FIBA

PASAY, Philippines — Montenegro ended its FIBA World Cup run this year at the win board by beating Greece, 73-69, via Nikola Vucevic’s lead in front of the Mall of Asia Arena crowd on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Nikola Vucevic carried The Black Mountain with his 19 markers and seven boards. He also shot 9-of-17 from the field. Meanwhile, Dino Radoncic and Vladimir Mihailovic contributed 12 and 10, respectively.

The Montenegrins led by as many as 14 with 7:03 left on the clock, 60-46, as Igor Drobnjak scored a two-point jumper to end his team’s 10-4 run to start the fourth frame.

But the Greeks exploded to make a run of their own, casting a 12-2 run behind the lead of both Georgios Papagiannis and Thomas Walkup to get closer against Montenegro with 2:47 remaining, 62-58.

The Black Mountain regained their momentum by answering through another sprint (6-0) with Nikola Vucevic throwing a dunk to hand his nation a 10-point margin.

Though Kostas Papanikolaou drained back-to-back treys, the Montenegrins still came up escaping with a victory as Dino Radoncic sealed their victory via a layup and one freebie.

Ioannis Papapetrou carried the Greeks with 16 markers, while both Papanikolaou and Lefteris Bochoridis added 13 each on a losing effort.

Montenegro concluded its FIBA rally with a 3-2 card in the Group Phase, while Greece settled for a 2-3 record.

The United States and Lithuania have already assured their place in the World Cup quarterfinals as the top two teams over them.