Georgia Storm Back, Deny Portugal In OT



Zaza Pachulia (Georgia)
Zaza Pachulia was once again the driving force for Georgia

Georgia overturned a 23-point deficit on Sunday to force overtime and finally clinch a dramatic 91-90 win over Portugal on the road, in EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round Group E action.

While Portugal were left lamenting the fact they came so close to registering their first win after three games in the group, Georgia have improved to 2-1 in the standings.

Portugal could hardly miss from long range early on as they sunk 12 of their first 23 three-point attempts.

They raced to a 45-22 lead with 1:51 remaining to the half-time buzzer and although Georgia scored the last four points before the break, the guests were still looking shell-shocked by their hosts' shooting accuracy.

It all changed after the interval as Tornike Shengelia and especially Zaza Pachulia, who had scored only two points in the first half, went to work down low.

Georgia's frontcourt duo infused their team-mates with the belief it was possible to turn the tables around and the guests began to chip away at the gap, completing the comeback by tying scores at 79 to force extra time.

Pachulia scored the first four points in the extra period from the line and then Levan Patsatsia drove to the basket and gave Georgia an 83-77 cushion with 3:12 remaining to the end of the extra period.

With just four seconds left to play and Georgia leading 90-88, Sanikidze once again split two free throws and made it a three-point game, 91-88.

The guests immediately fouled Mario-Gil Fernandes, who reduced to 91-90 with just two seconds on the clock and Portugal had no choice but to foul George Tsintsadze as he received the inbound pass.

The Georgian playmaker missed both his free-throws but there was barely any time left for Soares to fire a desperation shot from his own half after picking up the rebound.

Pachulia finished with 25 points and nine rebounds, Shengelia had 20 points and five boards and Patsatsia chipped in with 14 points for the winners.

For Portugal, José Da Silva collected a game-high 26 points in a losing effort.


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