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Ukraine: Azovmash Take Series Lead

24 May 2004

Azovmash needed overtime to beat BC Kyiv 77-74 and re-establish their lead in the best-of-seven-game Superliga title play-off.

Kyiv came desperately close to victory and enjoyed the better start in the regulation period of play, but they faded and now trail 3-2 after five matches, with the sixth game in the series scheduled for Wednesday.

Azovmash had led the series 2-0, but Kyiv have since fought their way back into contention.

The capital club were outstanding early on, with Andriy Lebedev putting the first points on the board and Shon Colson and Sergei Chikalkin also prominent.

It was only after the interval, when they trailed 40-36, that Azovmash really began to wake up.

However, Kyiv still extended their lead to 60-53 at the end of the third quarter.

Azovmash took the last quarter 17-10 to force the game into overtime - with Kyiv's Alexander Lokhmanchuk denied by the rim of the basket in the last second of regulation action.

Petro Podtykan, who finished with 14 points, and Tephen Hamilton, who managed 16, ensured Azovmash won the match.

They were well supported by Vyacheslav Yevstratenko (11 points) and Volodymyr Gurtovyi (12).

Kyiv relied heavily on Sergei Chikalkin, who poured in 20 points, while Lebedev and Alexander Lokhmanchuk managed 18 and 15 respectively.

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