Ukrainian side BC Kyiv made a big statement in their 110:71 win over German club GHP Bamberg this week in the FIBA Europe League. Bamberg were flying high in both the German Bundesliga and the FEL.
At least they were until they went to Kyiv.
Domestically Bamberg currently top their league, where they have only lost 1 game all season and up until Wednesday night they had only dropped 1 game in the FIBA Europe League.
Part of the key to Bamberg’s success has been excellent outside shooting and they lie 4th in the competition in number of 3 pointers made (an average of 9 per game) and 3rd in 3-point shooting percentage (44.1%). Kyiv’s strategy was to beat them at their own game and it worked a treat. The Ukrainians hit an astounding 20/29 3-point shots in racking up 110 points, the highest team total so far this season.
Perhaps more importantly, the win moved Kyiv one spot nearer to a play-off spot in Group B.
Although it was a total team performance from Kyiv, Anriy Lebedyev wins MVP honours for his 27-point game, which included 5/7 shooting from long distance.
Although he is just 24, Lebedyev is one of Kyiv‘s most experienced players. The 189 cm guard has already played in 2 European Championships for Ukraine , 2001 in Turkey and 2003 in Sweden. He is also well-travelled and although he was born in Germany, he has Ukrainian and Moldavian passports.
Lebedyev arrived in Kyiv in 2000, just 1 year after the club had been formed by legendary Ukrainian player Alexander Volkov. That season he also got his first exposure to European competition in the form of the Korac Cup, and was teammates with current L.A. Laker, Stanislav Medvedenko.
Since then Lebedyev has proved his value to his club, averaging a team high 16.5ppg in last year’s Champions Cup. So far this season the guard has been slightly inconsistent and has had two games where he has scored just 2 points. Kyiv will be hoping that his shooting night against Bamberg will be a sign of things to come and that he can lead the club into the play-offs, a stage of the competition that they were unable to reach in last year’s Champions Cup.