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Kyiv Pip Dynamo At Buzzer

09.04.2006

BC Kyiv made up for some of the disappointment of Friday's EuroCup semi-final loss with a victory on Sunday against Dynamo St Petersburg in the game for third place.

The game was a repeat of last year's FIBA Europe League final in Istanbul, which Dynamo won 85-74 to win the championship.  

Despite the lack of silverware on offer, the game proved to be a battle in which both teams gave their all for the win.

In the end, two missed shots in the waning seconds by Dynamo was the difference between the two sides.

"I feel better today winning the third place game than I did last year when we lost in the final," said Kyiv coach Renato Pasquali. 

"It was good for us to win today after the mentality of the players were really down after Friday's loss. We had to find a way to get over that loss and concentrate on the future."

The game came down to the last three minutes as Dynamo battled their way back from a 10-point deficit.

Jamal McCullough was the key man for the Russian club as he hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line inside the final 90 seconds to keep his side in touch with Kyiv. It was his dunk with 42 seconds to go which cut the lead to two points, 81-83 and gave Dynamo hopes of stealing the contest.

Kyiv had a chance to make the game safe but Guilherme Giovannoni's lay-up attempt was blocked by Kelly McCarty and although Kyiv got the ball back, LaMarr Greer missed a three-point attempt and Dynamo gathered the ball for the final offensive possession.

The Russians worked the ball to an open Andrey Ivanov for a potential game-winning three-pointer. His shot missed, but Dynamo had another chance when Vladimir Veremeenko got his fingers to the rebound. His attempted tip-in rimmed out at the buzzer.

"We were not lucky in this tournament. In any game you need luck sometimes. Besides the technical part of the game we lost today the same way Khimki beat us," said Dynamo coach Fotis Katsikaris.

Despite their obvious dissapointment at not having the chance to play for a championship, both coaches were able to take positives out of their Final Four experience.

"These two games were really important for us and we are very proud to participate in the final four for a second consecutive year," said Katsikaris.

"I told my players today that we are one of the best 10 teams in Europe. We belong in that group and I am very proud of my team."

"I was satisfied with the way we played because we only had one day to recover from Friday's loss. It looked like we would lost the game but we came back which showed real character and this is important for our upcoming league games."

"Some players who did not perform well in the semi-final really led the team today and that is important for us as the season is not over and we still have the cup and the league," said Pasquali.

After a poor semi-final showing, Greer led Kyiv with 21 points, while Gorak Nikolic added 18 and nine rebounds.

McCullough top scored for Dynamo with 22 points and McCarty chipped in with 20.

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