Cholet! French Edge Triumph In Final Four Thriller

24 April 2009

Cholet clinched a thrilling win over BC Triumph on Friday night in Bologna to advance to the final of the EuroChallenge.

Claude Marquis had 20 points, Kevin Braswell 19 and Vincent Grier 16 as the French outfit prevailed 81-78.

Cholet now await the winner of the clash between Final Four hosts Virtus BolognaFiere of Italy and Cypriot giants Proteas EKA AEL.

The game wasn't decided until the final minute.

Triumph's Fedor Dmitriev connected from three-point land with 1:06 remaining to knot the contest at 74-74.

Cholet went to the other end and Marquis, with his back to the basket, passed to a cutting Grier who was fouled by Dmitriev.

Grier hung in the air, remained composed and banked in the shot on the play despite the contact for the go-ahead basket.

He missed the free throw, but Rodrigue Beaubois chased down the rebound to keep possession in the hands of Cholet.

After Beaubois missed with a jumper, Triumph had their chance to tie the game or go in front.

Guard Ernest Bremer pushed the ball up the floor and drove into the lane but instead of shooting, he passed out to the perimeter.

No teammate was there to catch the pass and the ball went out of bounds with 18 seconds to go.

Cholet coach Erman Kunter inserted his excellent free-throw shooter Nando De Colo into the line-up and when play resumed, he caught the inbounds pass and was fouled.

De Colo, wearing a face mask after having his nose broken in the EuroChallenge Quarter-Final tie with BC Kyiv, sank both attempts with 17 seconds to go.

After a timeout, Triumph's Marque Perry drove into the lane and scored to cut the deficit to two, and the Russian team fouled Braswell on the ensuing inbounds play with nine seconds left.

Braswell made both for a four-point lead and Cholet held on for the victory.

Cholet almost paid the price for bad free-throw shooting after making just 11 of 19 (57.9%) for the game.

Bremer had 20 points in defeat for Triumph.

Cholet out-rebounded Triumph 37-32.

Triumph were nine of 27 (33.3%) from the arc compared to six of 20 (30%) for Cholet.

Ognjen Askrabic had 13 points, and Marcus Goree had seven points and six rebounds for Triumph.

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