|Kataja's Michael Morrison added three blocks to his 22 points and six rebounds|
French club Cholet Basket were made to pay for a slow start in Finland, falling to Kataja Basket 76-70 on the opening night of the 2013/14 EuroChallenge season.
Going up 24-19 at the end of the opening quarter after Juho Nenonen opened the evening's proceedings from downtown, Kataja surged ahead in the second frame, forcing their visitors to go 3-for-15 in the quarter and be left facing a daunting 18-point deficit to overcome in the second half.
Rudy Jomby was doing his best to spur a third-quarter comeback for Cholet Basket, twice hitting from downtown to try and fire his team into offensive action.
However, regular trips to the free-throw line were aiding Kataja in keeping a comfortable buffer which sat at 14 (65-51) with a period remaining.
Jean-Manuel Sousa's troops finally discovered some offensive rhythm across the closing stages, ending the night on a 10-3 run with Terrell Stoglin and Claude Marquis responsible for the 10 points, but it was never going to prove enough against a side determined to match their result of last season.
Topping the hosts with 22 points was Michael Morrison, who added seven boards to his stat line.
Fellow American Renaldo Major had 14 points.
The best of the visitors with 17 points and five assists was Stoglin.
Kataja Basket Head Coach Jukka Toijala
"This was a great victory for the club and for Finnish basketball. I think we played pretty well during the first half, but after that we struggled a bit. Maybe we ran out of ball movement."
Kataja Basket Player Mike Morrison
"We knew that we´re competing against a very talented team. I´m very happy for the victory. I´ve been struggling in the last few games and I just tried to be more aggressive."
Cholet Basket Head Coach Jean-Manuel Sousa
"The game didn´t start as planned. And it´s very diccifult to play when you´re down by 20 points."
Cholet Basket Player Claude Marquis
"We had a kind of slow start to this game. Kataja Basket played very well during the first half and we were not ready to compete against them. After halftime we found the right direction."