|Edo Muric did it all for Krka, leading the team in points, rebounds and assists|
Krka Novo Mesto cruised to an 80-63 victory over Cholet Basket in their Group J opener in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge.
An 18-0 run that spanned the half-time interval swung the game decisively in the hosts' favour, and their lead reached 24 at one point in the third quarter.
Edo Muric had 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead the hosts, with Luka Lapornik adding 12 points, and Jasmin Hukic and Zvonko Buljan 10 each.
Cholet Basket fought hard in the opening going, and though they fell 18-10 back when Buljan hit a lay-up late in the first quarter, they responded with 12 straight points to lead by four on a three-pointer from Terrell Stoglin three minutes into the second quarter.
However, Krka had an answer of their own and it was much more emphatic - going on a 33-5 tear to blow Cholet away.
A three from Muric put them up 38-27 at half-time and it kept coming after the break, with further threes from Lapornik, Muric and Hukic piling on the pain for Cholet.
They stemmed the bleeding late in the third quarter, but, more than 20 points down, any ambitions they had about challenging for a win were gone.
Stoglin collected 17 points for Cholet with John Cox adding 12 and Lamayn Wilson and Justin Burrell 10 apiece.
Krka Head Coach Aleksandar Dzikic
"I want to congratulate my players. They did a good job; they implemented almost everything that we agreed on before game. We‘ve played quite well in the last few weeks and this result showed that. That was a good win for the beginning of the second round and now we just have to continue like this."
Krka Player Jasmin Hukic
"The final score doesn't show that the game was still tough. Cholet has good athletic players and we had to work hard for all 40 minutes. That win is a great encouragement for us and I hope that we can play like this in next games, too."
Cholet Head Coach Laurent Buffard
"Krka played really well. We started well in the first three, four minutes and after that we just gave up. We stopped the pressure, we lost too many balls. Krka used that and they scored too many points from fast breaks. Now we have to concentrate on our league game against Limoges and after that we are awaiting Reggio Emilia. We must win against them if we want to compete for the next round. If we lose it will be a mission impossible."
Cholet Player Steeve Ho You Fat
"It was a tough game. Krka played very well and we were not able to put them under pressure. Now we have to try to win the next game and stay in the competition for the next round."