UNICS head coach Stanislav Eremin believed the performance of Mykola Khryapa provided the catalyst for his team's thumping 96-60 victory over Turkish side PTT.
Martin Muursepp and Saulius Stombergas poured in 16 points apiece for UNICS but Eremin felt it was Ukrainian forward Khryapa who played the most important role as the men from Kazan maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign in the FIBA Europe League.
"We played poorly at the start and we were losing our one-on-one duels," said Eremin.
"But our play became much better when Khryapa came in and we managed to put our defence in order.
"I was also pleased for Muursepp - he started badly but I kept faith with him and that faith was repaid in the end."
UNICS are now sitting pretty at the top of Group A after securing their third win in as many games.
They looked a class above the Turks, and must now be considered among the favourites to top
|“||I hope that PTT get their best players back in action soon and that they do well in their domestic league||„|
But coach Eremin was not entirely satisfied with their form, and he expressed sympathy with opposite number Sunter Erkument, who had several key players still lacking match fitness.
He revealed: "Our main task was to ensure our players played to their full potential, but they did not manage this until some way into the game.
"I was talking to Erkument before the game and he told me they had some injury problems. I know they are a good team but they weren't at their best against us.
"I hope that PTT get their best players back in action soon and that they do well in their domestic league."
Erkument admitted after the game that he never thought his team had a realistic chance of defeating the Russians.
The Ankara-based club have lost all three of their opening Group A matches and need an urgent turnaround in their fortunes if they are to avoid being cut adrift.
"We all knew at the beginning of the week that UNICS are a stronger team than us," admitted Erkument.
"They played very well in defence and made it difficult for us.
"Several of our key players have only just returned from injury and they have not yet recovered their best form."