BC Kyiv all but mathematically made it to the ULEB Cup elimination rounds in its first-ever appearance in the competition by edging Elan Bearnais Pau-Orthez 63-73 on the road in Group H on Tuesday. Kyiv is back atop the Group H table with a 6-2 record and will mathematically advance to the next round if Bosna beats Siauliai in Group A tomorrow. That way, Kyiv will be at least one of the top 5 fourth-ranked team in the competition. Meanwhile, Pau dropped to 1-7 and is mathematically out of the competition in its ULEB Cup debut. Ryan Stack led the winners with 18 points while Manuchar Markoishvili and former Pau-Orthez forward Artur Drozdov each added 12 for Kyiv. Antonio Graves led Pau with 16 points but nobody else scored in double digits. Jeff Trepagnier and Graves allowed Pau to get a 17-13 edge after 10 minutes. Kyiv changed the game momentum in the second quarter, as Drozdov and Stack helped the guests to reach halftime with a 12-point margin, 28-40. Pau improved its defense in the second half and a three-pointer by Antoine Mendy brought the hosts as close as 49-50. Marcus Faison and Markoishvili shined in the final 7 minutes to allow Kyiv to escape with an outstanding road win.
Jeleel Akindele and Trepagnier fueled a 6-2 opening run for Pau but Drozdov and Faison soon tied the game at 6-6. Graves and Ludovic Vaty stepped up with consecutive baskets while Trepagnier stroke from downtown to keep Pau ahead, 13-8. Marko Maravic found his first points while Drozdov kepy pacing Kyiv with a layup-plus-foul to keep the guests within 17-13. A power layup by Vaty and a final triple by Stack fixed the score at 19-16 after 10 minutes. A put-back basket by Stack ignited a 0-6 run that Drozdov capped with free throws for a 19-22 Kyiv edge. Pau had troubles against Kyiv's mobile big men now. Jacob Jaacks stroke from downtown while Drozdov dunked it off a steal for a 21-27 Kyiv edge. Stack had 5 points to ignit a 0-12 Kyiv run that Jeter capped with a triple to break the game open, 25-39. A three-pointer by Cedric Ferchaud got Pau within 28-40 at the break. Pau improved its defense after the break, while Graves and Akinlele allowed the hosts to get back in the game, 35-42. Jeter tried to change things with another basket, but Max Stanic made free throws while Graves scored off a steal to make it a four-point game, 40-44. Three-pointers by a red hot Graves and Mendy brought Pau even closer, 49-50, but free throws by Maravic gave Kyiv some fresh air, 49-52, after three quarters. Faison and Jeter stepped up right when Kyiv needed it most to keep the guests ahead, 53-58, early in the fourth quarter. Kyiv had improved its defense but Stanic scored for a 53-56 Pau deficit. It didn't last long, however, as Faison had 4 points in a 0-6 run that sealed the outcome, 53-62, with 3 minutes to go. Markoishvili and Jeter allowed Kyiv to keep a safe lead until the final buzzer.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008