It was all grind in the second game of the 2017 LNBM finals in Cluj as both U-BT and CSM Steaua EximBank desperately needed a win. The guests were looking to take a 2-0 commanding lead while Steaua tried everything they could to escape Cluj with a 1-1 result.
Steaua started off better, leading by as much as 9 in the first quarter but Cluj Napoca woke up just before the first quarter buzzer to end up by only a couple of points shy of tying the score, with Vlad Moldoveanu owning 11 of the team’s 21 points shortly after the start of the second quarter.
The game continued with it’s fast physically intensive pace but with close to 30 fouls applied midway through the second quarter, the referring officials let the rest of game play out naturally which only resulted in a much more spectacular game.
As in the previous game, both teams fought hard and went head to head with Cluj holding on to a marginal lead going into the final minutes of the game. While Steaua remained as focused as ever, the high number of fouls ended up costing the team from Bucharest and Cluj secured the win via… who else, Vlad Moldoveanu, from the charity stripe, final score, 84 – 80.
Vlad lead all scorers with 23 points, added 4 rebounds and 3 assists and obtained an impressive 11 fouls from the opposing team, virtually making them have to change strategy as he could not be stopped without getting fouled.
Up 2 – 0, U-Banca Transilvania now have to win one in Bucharest to secure a title, which would be Vlad’s third title in 4 years, having played a league final in each of the years.