EUROCHALLENGE QUALIFYING ROUND
Sokhumi gave 4,000 fans at the Sports Palace in Tbilisi a night to remember with a 94-78 victory over BC "Minsk-2006" in the first leg of the EuroChallenge Qualifying Round tie.
Franklin Robinson had 27 points on Tuesday evening and Marc Salyers poured in 19 while corralling nine rebounds and handing out five assists for the winners who were playing their first ever game in Europe.
The country of Georgia, on a high after watching its national side reach the Second Round of the EuroBasket in its first appearance at the event, is hoping Sokhumi will now travel north to Belarus and complete the overall victory next week.
Leading 28-24 after the first quarter, Sokhumi seized the upper hand in the last 5:35 of the second when they outscored the visitors 15-6 for a 54-40 lead.
Robinson had two three-pointers in that span.
BC "Minsk-2006" tried to battle back.
An Aliaksandr Kudrautsau three-ball with 6:25 to play in the third quarter reduced the arrears to 56-51, but Sokhumi had too much firepower.
Brandon Gay answered immediately with a basket to spark a 9-0 run that left the hosts in command.
The lead ballooned to 20 in the fourth quarter before Sokhumi walked off the court with a 16-point lead heading into next week's second leg in Minsk.
Justin Hawkins finished with 18 points for the visitors.