Kyiv Surprise Cholet With Big Second-Half Comeback


BC Kyiv pulled off a remarkable comeback to shock Cholet Basket and send their EuroChallenge Quarter-Final to a Game 3 decider.

Sasa Obradovic's team, beaten in France in Game 1 by 16 points on Tuesday, trailed 56-38 midway through the third quarter in Game 2 but fought back to win 77-72.

The teams will return to France next week to determine which side progresses to the Final Four.

Manuchar Markoishvili and Denys Lukashov each had 18 points for Kyiv, a club that has been winning on heart since the decision to part with most of its foreign contingent after last month's Cup of Ukraine defeat to Azovmash.

Kyiv did much of their damage at the free-throw line, making 23 of 27. They were also a scintillating eight of 16 from behind the arc while Cholet hit just 11 of 30 on their three-ball attempts.

Erman Kunter's team took far less trips to the charity stripe, making seven of 12.

Facing the 18-point deficit, Kyiv went on a 14-3 run to close to within 59-52 with 1:15 to go in the third quarter.

Four points from Lukashov in the last 39 seconds of the frame then left Cholet wobbling with a 61-56 lead.

Cholet went stone cold on offense, failing to score for the first eight and a half minutes of the fourth quarter.

After Artur Drozdov sank two from the free throw line to give them a 66-61 lead, Nando De Colo stopped the Cholet rot with 1:36 remaining in the game by making two free-throws.

De Colo fouled Markoishvili and he converted two opportunities, but the young French guard raced up the floor and made a lay-up five seconds later to make it a 68-65 game in favor of Kyiv.

Fouled on the play, De Colo drilled the free throw to reduce the arrears to just two and Kyiv called a timeout.

When play resumed, Maksym Pustozvonov hit a jump shot and De Colo missed a trey before his teammate Vincent Grier failed to make two free throws.

Cholet watched as Kyiv padded their lead at the free-throw line, and with a Drozdov (17 pts) dunk for a 75-66 advantage.

De Colo and Rodrigue Beaubois each made three-pointers in the space of five seconds - Beaubois' after a Drozdov turnover - forcing Obradovic to call a timeout with four ticks on the clock remaining.

Cholet then fouled Lukashov who finished off the scoring at the line.

Kevin Braswell had 17 points and both Beaubois and De Colo scored 14 for Cholet.

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