Estonian basketball club BC Kalev/Cramo played its first game in the basketball Champions League on Wednesday and lost in a tight contest against French squad Strasbourg.
The Estonian club got off to a good start and finished the opening period up 24:19. Kalev extended their lead to 11 at one point in the second quarter, after which the French club got their offense going and tied the game with a 11:0 run, eventually going into halftime up 41:36 on the Estonian team.
Kalev/Cramo scored only 10 points in the first eight minutes of the third quarter, but maintained a five-point deficit going into the deciding period. The Estonian club reduced Strasbourg's lead to five to start the fourth quarter, but fell behind 65:73 three minutes before the end of the game.
Cramo guard Silas Melson hit a three-pointer 21 seconds before the end of the game to make it 71:73. After a Strasbourg timeout, Cramo captain Martin Dorbek forced the opposing player out of bounds and the Estonian squad got the ball back without forcing a foul.
Melson was the hero for Kalev again, tying the game at 73 just 7.8 seconds before the end of the game. On the following Strasbourg possession, John Roberson went on a drive and missed, but a putback dunk by Matt Mitchell put the French team up 75:73. Kalev quickly put the ball back in play and Melson hit from just beyond the half-court line, but the referees deemed he released the ball too late and the French club escaped with a 75:73 victory in the season opener.
Melson was the high point man for Kalev/Cramo with 18 points, Kristjan Kitsing and Rauno Nurger added 16. Strasbourg's highest scorer was DeAndre Lansdowne with 21 points.
Kalev's next game in the Champions League is on October 12, when the team heads to Turkey to meet local club Tofas Bursa.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste