In this weekend’s Ukrainian Super League game between BC Kyiv and Vozko Voznesensk the home side celebrated a confident 104:80 victory despite the absence of three starters. Nikolai Khriapa and Ioannis Giannoulis missed the game due to health problems and Lamarr Greer returned to the U.S. right after this week's FIBA Europe League game against Nymburk to stay with his wife and newborn daughter.
Andrei Lebediev, who replaced Greer in the starting lineup, led his team in scoring for the second straight game (he had scored 26 in Kyiv’s previous win in Rivne). Lebedev and Sergei Chikalkin scored 18 apiece and young Oleksiy Pecherov, who is becoming a frequent starter in the national league, added 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Although Podolyan was the only one who managed to score, both rookies looked strong and gained some much-needed confidence. Marcelo Nicola was the only experienced player on the court during the stretch – his task was (as the coach said) “to help the young players” and he coped with it very well by feeding them the ball and, when needed, doling out advice.
“A win is a win”, said Head Coach Renato Pasquali after the game was over. He, naturally, was pleased with the result, but not quite pleased with the kind of game his team had demonstrated. Once again, BC Kyiv struggled defensively, having allowed the visitors to collect too many offensive rebounds. Moreover, the home side’s “zone” was soft and penetrated far too easily by Vozko.
According to Pasquali, his guards need to be more aggressive on defense to help their big men with the long rebounds, which should minimize second chances for Kyiv’s opponents. In addition, the team needs to go over “little things”, such as basic defensive and offensive drills, which are among the key factors of the team’s success.
BC Kyiv will play its upcoming games at home, against Dnepr in the Super League and UNICS Kazan in the FIBA Europe League.