Kambala Saves Fenerbahce From Kyiv Comeback

20 December 2005

Kaspars Kambala scored Fenerbahce's final six points as the Turkish side survived a BC Kyiv comeback for a 71-69 victory on Tuesday to take sole possession of first place in Group I of the EuroCup.

Kambala scored eight of his 12 points in the final period to help fend off the Ukrainians, who fought back from a 16-point deficit midway through the third quarter.

Instead of trying to tie the game, Kyiv's new addition from Benetton Treviso, Guilherme Giovannoni, missed a three-pointer with three seconds remaining to give Fenerbahce the victory.

Fenerbahce big man Cory Violette led all scorers with 19 points and eight rebounds. Rasim Basak scored 14 while Damir Mrsic tallied 12 points and Cameron Stevenson added 11 for the winners.

LaMarr Greer, who came back from a leg injury, scored 15 points in a losing cause. The Brazilian international Giovannoni contributed 12 points while Kresimir Loncar and Goran Nikolic each added 10 points.

Fenerbahce used a 15-4 run to open a 31-16 lead after 10 minutes. The Ukrainians were able to close to within 41-29 going into the locker room.

Violette's basket with 5:56 left in the third pushed the advantage up to 16 points, 49-33. But Giovannoni, who left the Italian giants due to a lack of playing time, hit two big three-pointers as Kyiv closed the period with a 19-9 run for a 58-52 score-line going into the final frame.

Stevenson's three-pointer opened the cushion to seven points - 63-56 - with 6:35 left. But five straight points by Giovannoni made it 65-63 with just over three minutes left.

Kambala took over with a lay up and two free throws for a 69-63 bulge. And after Greer knocked down two free throws to make it 69-67, Kambala made another layup with 56 seconds left.

Greer answered with a layup of his own with 45 seconds remaining, but both Stevenson and then Giovannoni missed three pointers in the final seconds.

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