|Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Ukraine were left shocked after they fell just short of a quarter-final berth in their home tournament|
France broke Ukrainian hearts as they edged out the hosts to snatch the final quarter-final berth at the U16 European Championship Men in Kyiv.
A straight fight for a place in the last eight was decided in the very last second when Kyrylo Marchenko's three-point attempt fell short to let France off the hook.
It was a suitably dramatic finish to a thrilling contest.
France threatened to make it look one-sided early on, scoring the first six unanswered and leading 14-5 when Renathan Ona Embo sank a pair of free throws with 3:15 left in the first quarter.
But, cheered on by an enthusiastic home crowd, Ukraine had no intention of going quietly and an 11-3 run powered by three-pointers from Marchenko and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk brought them back within one by the end of the first quarter.
Mykhailiuk tied it at 17-17 with a free throw at the start of the second quarter but could not make the second as a lead eluded Ukraine and France reasserted control.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Arthur Leboeuf and Stephane Gombauld stretched their lead to 31-23 but Ukraine responded with long balls of their own from Marchenko and Rostyslav Lunskyi.
France pushed their lead to 40-31 at the start of the second half, which began with a Gombauld dunk and a three-point play from Luc Loubaki had them up 51-42 at the start of the final stanza.
Still Ukraine would not roll over as Mykhailiuk made his presence felt, his three-pointer making it 55-51 with 4:53 to go.
The Ukraine assistant coaches were standing, urging the crowd to their feet as the pressure mounted on France, but the fans needed no more invitation to raise the noise level than Marchenko's three that cut the deficit to two with 2:17 remaining.
Amine Noua made Anatoliy Khytov pay for missed free throws and, after France's defence stood tall, Loubaki split a pair of free throws to give his team a 61-56 edge with a minute to play.
Khytov's jump-shot cut the gap before Ivan Tkachenko split a pair to bring the gap back to two.
Kevin Cham missed a jump-shot to give Ukraine one last chance, but Marchenko's three from the corner missed a second before the buzzer sounded, and France escaped while Ukraine faced up to the prospect of the classification games and a battle against relegation.
Gombauld finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the victors, while Loubaki scored 16 and Noua added six points with 13 boards.
Mykhailiuk finished with 24 points for Ukraine, though a few of his eight turnovers were costly, while Marchenko scored 11.