Paris' Igor Perica dominated in the first quarter and Kyiv's Ioannis Giannoulis was unstoppable in the fourth in what turned out to be a breathtaking come-from-behind 88:84 victory for BC Kyiv over Paris Basket Racing.
|Giannoulis was in inspired form for Kyiv|
The visitors were behind for most of the first quarter, however their 6 offensive rebounds and solid shooting by Igor Perica’s, who scored 17 points in the opening period, gave them a 21-24 lead at the first break.
BC Kyiv managed to neutralize their opponents’ forwards and that was when his teammates took over. They scored four consecutive three-pointers and by halftime extended their lead to 8 points – 38-46.
The home team started to feed the ball to their big men Ioannis Giannoulis and Kreso Loncar in the third quarter and their offensive efforts allowed Kyiv to narrow the gap to 4 points. This margin remained for most of the quarter, until Sergei Chikalkin scored a three pointer at the end to close it at 61-62.
Paris Basket Racing started the 4th quarter with a 6-0 run and kept the home side scoreless for almost 3 minutes. However, free throw shooting let the visitors down when it mattered the most.
Moreover, Kyiv continued feeding the ball to Giannoulis, who was simply on fire. His mid-quarter in-your-face dunk inspired the team, which, after grabbing the lead for the second time in the game at 69-68, never let it slip again.
“I am surprised that the Paris side dominated on the boards and, despite it, we still managed to control the game. We knew that we either had to score more than 80 points or keep the opponents below 70. Our offense was better than defense tonight and the fact that we managed to get the ball down low, into Paris’ most problematic zone, was key to our win
“I can not say that Paris surprised us – I don’t think teams can surprise each other at this stage. Our opponents did some things better than I expected, however none of them were surprising.”
Gordon Herbert, Paris Basket Racing head coach:
“I am pleased with our offensive efforts tonight, however, not being able to take advantage of our main strength – defense, hurt us tonight. We will make some adjustments to try to improve it in the upcoming game.”
Igor Perica, Paris Basket Racing forward,
“I could not have predicted how many points I was going to score in the first quarter. I just used all the chances, created for me by my teammates.”