Georgia Boss Belarus In First Leg


Georgia have taken control of their EuroBasket Division B promotion round tie against Belarus with an 89-75 victory in Mogilev on Saturday night.

Zaza Pachulia was a perfect 11 of 11 from the free-throw line en route to 19 points while Vladimer Boisa added 18 - making four of five shots from three-point range - to overpower the hosts.

Belarus got off to a fast start, but Pachulia's nine points in the first quarter helped Georgia overturn an early deficit to lead 23-17 at the start of the second period.

The visitors never again relinquished the lead but instead piled the pressure on Belarus with some excellent free-throw shooting as Tyrone Ellis and Giorgi Gamqrelidze combined to reel off six made shots in a row.

When Pachulia hit the second of two quickfire jump-shots to end the second half, the Georgian lead had stretched to 13, 45-32.

Belarus scored the first six points of the second half as they sought a way back into the game, but having closed the scores to 45-38, they could only watch as Georgia moved back through the gears with back-to-back three-pointers from Boisa.

Belarus got the gap back down to seven, 55-48, on Dzianis Korshuk's jump-shot with 4:10 to go in the third period, but Georgia pulled away for the rest of the game, with a run of 12 straight points early in the fourth quarter ending Belarusian hopes on the night and left them with plenty of work to do in the second game on Wednesday night.

Viktor Sanikidze had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Georgia, who also got 10 points from Ellis.

Pavel Ulyanko led Belarus with 18 points while Yahor Meshcharakou had 17, Heorhi Kandrusevich 15 and Korshuk 13.

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