Just in the nick of time to keeps its hopes of advancing alive, Cholet joined the list of ULEB Cup winners on Tuesday with a Group D win at home against Caprabo Lleida, 93-79. The visitors lack of a playmaker in the absence of injured guards Roger Grimau and Jaume Comas proved too much for their team to overcome. Still, it took a 14-0 tear in the final minutes for Cholet to make sure of the victory. The winners were led by Richard Barry with 21 points, Tony Stanley added 18 and De Ron Hayes 11. For Lleida, Alberto Angulo was the best with 15 points, Berni Alvarez added 14 and Michael Ruffin, 13. The win puts a first mark in the win column of the French team which improved to 1-4, while Lleida dropped to 2-3.
The guests jumped nervous on court, and Cholet took advantage of it by hitting a 14-4 run in the first 3 minutes, to arrive at the end of the frst quarter with a nine-point lead, 28-19. The duo of Stanley and Barry was lethal as the first hit 13 points in the period, with 2 three-pointers, and the second added 9 points, all from downtown. LLeida coach Edu Torres had to improvise at point with Angulo, but the strategy didn't work out as expected. In the second period, Cholet kept the game under control and hit a maximum lead of 17 points at 48-31 in minute 16. The Spaniards sank after an unsportsmanlike foul by Ruffin. At halftime, the hosts led 51-38.
After resumption, the French team's superiority continued, as Cholet was always ahead by more than 10 points, and at the end of the third period by 15, at 69-54. In the last 10 minutes, the guests reacted and came back into the game. Thanks to Angulo and Alvarez, Caprabo Lleida was only 3 points down, 73-70, with 5 minutes to go. Nevertheless, a lethal 14-0 run for 87-70 in the remaining time, led by Barry and Hayes, put Cholet ahead for good.
Tuesday, November 12, 2002