Chorale Roanne Basket narrowly missed out playing in the Eurocup after falling to Hapoel Jerusalem over two legs, but they may be about to enjoy an excellent EuroChallenge if their start on Tuesday night at Keravnos is anything to go by.
The French outfit led from start to finish and claimed an 89-77 Group H win in Cyprus.
Jean Denys Choulet's men stormed out to a 26-17 lead by the end of the first quarter and extended that to 57-40 by half-time.
A pair of Pape-Philippe Amagou free-throws stretched the advantage to 77-59 with 10 minutes left.
Keravnos pulled to within 11 midway through the fourth quarter but got no closer.
Ralph Mims had 20 points for Roanne, who had four other players reach double figures.
Roanne dominated on the boards, out-rebounding Keravnos 32-23.
The French won easily despite turning the ball over 21 times while the hosts were guilty of 15 turnovers.
From three-point range, Roanne were six of 10 and Mims a perfect three of three.
Bryant Smith finished with 25 points in defeat.
"It is strange to play in an empty court; we are used to playing in our sold out home court with 3000 to 3500 people. I have nothing more to say, this is not basketball; and I am not talking about the keravnos coach or players."
Roanne player Pape-Phillippe Amagou:
"I am pleased with our first win. It is a good start in the competition. The first half was important since we had to play a tough second half."
Keravnos coach Azoulay Adi:
"This was our worst game of the season. It was finished after the first half. We tried to change the momentum in the second, but I am not looking for excuses. This game does not reflect our defence so far; we average 72 points per game and tonight we had 57 in the first!
"Roanne are a top team in France and KK Zagreb are also a very good team. Hopefully we will do better than tonight.
"Cooper and Lee between them they average 38 points and tonight zero or two points.
"Roanne beat us in the inside game with 80% two pointers in the first half."
Keravnos player Bryant Smith:
"We lost the game in the first half; too many points given away.
"In the second we were more aggressive but it was tough with the 17 point difference from the first half.
"We should go back to the drawing board and try to win the game in France"