Dexia Dazzle, Force Game Three

24.02.2006

Dexia Mons-Hainaut have lived a dream all season in the EuroCup by staying alive in a competition most expected them to exit after the first stage.

The fans and the players of the Belgian club are still dreaming after a 79-73 home triumph over Russian high-fliers BC Khimki.

Dragan Markovic scored 20 points - 11 in the fourth quarter when Dexia needed them most - as Dexia forced a deciding third game back in Moscow on Wednesday.

Dragan Markovic (Dexia Mons-Hainaut)
Dragan Markovic hit 11 points in the final 10 minutes for Dexia
Talk about dreams, they do not come any sweeter than Markovic's in the final period when he nailed a trio of three-pointers.

Khimki had just taken a 67-62 lead 50 seconds into the fourth after a three-ball from Alexander Petrenko and a jump shot from Melvin Booker.

But after George Evans buried a jumper for two of his team-high 21 points, Markovic hit a three to tie the contest at 67-67.

Matthias Desaever of Dexia and Ruben Wolkowisky of Khimki then exchanged buckets to set the stage for Markovic.

James Potter picked out the Serbo-Montenegrin forward and Markovic drained the three for a 72-69 lead with 6:03 to play.

With 5:26 to go, Omar Cook - Dexia's three-point specialist in Game 1 - provided Markovic with another look and he knocked down his third trey of the quarter for a 75-69 advantage.

Potter was the next to score, making two free throws to extend the lead to 77-69 with 3:44 to play.

Khimki have a team which is capable of going all the way to the title with seasoned international players like Italian international Gianmarco Pozzecco.

The playmaker made a jump shot to narrow the deficit to 77-72 with 2:03 to go, and after an offensive foul by Vladimir Tica, Khimki had a chance to make further inroads but did not execute.

Petrenko missed from long range, and after Dexia committed a 24-second shot-clock violation, Pozzecco missed a three.

Pozzecco had a chance to make things interesting with 12 seconds to go after being fouled by Potter, but he made just one of two from the line and Dexia rebounded the miss.

Markovic scored his last two points, and the only insignificant ones at that, with a lay-up for the six-point win.

Khimki's Booker had 27 points to lead all scorers

It's winner take all one Wednesday back in Russia with the series tied at one game apiece.


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