|Zbynek Pospisil had 12 points and 9 rebounds to offer for BK Pardubice|
BK Pardubice blew a 17-point lead but made the key plays down the stretch to win at home against BC Goverla in the EuroChallenge on Wednesday evening.
The visitors from Ukraine, in search of their first victory in Europe after two narrow defeats in Group C, lost 72-69 in the Czech Republic.
Pardubice stormed into a huge advantage in the opening quarter with Maurice Hampton's three-pointer making it 23-6 in favor of the home side.
Goverla had a mountain to climb, and they began to climb it.
Yaroslav Lemyk's lay-up reduced the arrears to 24-12 at the end of the first frame.
When Dante Swanson drove in and scored with a lay-up 4:15 before half-time, Goverla trailed, 30-23.
Pardubice surged back into a 46-30 lead early in the third quarter but Goverla kept battling and Brian Greene's dunk at the end of the frame cut the home side's advantage to 55-47.
The visitors continued to claw their way back.
After two Greene free-throws cut the deficit to five, Viktor Herasymchuk connected from behind the arc for Goverla to leave Pardubice on top 59-57.
The Ukrainians finally went in front at 62-61 when Marcus Walker picked off a pass by Hampton and raced in for a lay-up.
Fouled on the play, he sank the free-throw for a three-point play.
Pardubice ended up making four consecutive free-throws after Goverla turnovers to go in front, 65-63.
A tip-in by Zbynek Pospisil and a dunk by Marcus Arnold stretched the lead to 69-63.
The visitors stayed within striking distance and had possession when trailing 71-69.
Coming out of a timeout, Erik Coleman missed a lay-up and the hosts rebounded.
They added a free-throw for the final score.
Arnold had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Pardubice.
Both sides struggled at the line, with Pardubice sinking 18 of 27 free-throws and Goverla hitting 17 of 28.
Kevin Tiggs had 15 points to pace Goverla.
Player of Goverla Eric Coleman:
"We started off with a lack of energy. They came out jumped on us...took advantage of us. And they had a big lead at the beginning. At the end we fought back. We had the opportunity to tie it at the end. But they finished the game and we did not."
Assistant coach of Goverla Kremez Andri:
"Sometimes you come for the game, you prepare your players. You want to motivate your players because every game is tough. And sometimes you dont have the answer because the way they focus. Coach was trying to find the ways to calm them down, to let them understand what is gong on and it has worked. The second quater was tied. The third and fourth as well. But the problem was the first quater, it took so much energy from us for the whole game. At the end we had the opportunity to win but we had threee turnovers. Congratulations to them."
Head coach of Pardubice Jan Slowiak:
"I want to congratulate to my team to the win over Goverl who showed a lot of will to come back in the game. We had a great start. We were ready for them. However we knew Goverla was gong to change the tempo of the game, that they will be more agressive on defense and they have done that. We were impatient. We turned the ball over too much against thein zone press. But we had the lead for three quaters. And we lost it at the and again by turnovers. But even when we lost the lead we came back. The last situation we should have fouled Coleman, he is not an excellent free throw shooter. But he missed. We are happy about the win."
Player of Pardubice Zbyněk Pospíšil:
"Great start. We were ready for their plays. I think they were surprised that we knew what they were playing. Our scouting was great. But then throughout the game we left our solutions. It is a pity because we had a big lead. But this win is really worthy because they have a good team."