|Andrei Krivonos made a big statement upon his return to the head coaching role for Tsmoki Minsk|
Andrei Krivonos enjoyed an outstanding first day back at work in the head role as his Tsmoki Minsk team routed Bakken Bears Aarhus 89-51 in their final Group L game in the EuroChallenge Last 16.
Although Minsk had already secured progression to the quarter-finals, they announced on the eve of the final round the departure coach Donaldas Kairys, with Krivonos promoted to a second stint in the top job.
It seemed to pay off against the Bears who were blown away by a Minsk team who led from post to wire, playing some stifling defence.
They scored the first eight points of the game and led 18-7 when Aliaksei Lashkevich made a lay-up with three minutes of the first quarter remaining.
The Bears could not find any rhythm and after Minsk got the first six points of the second quarter their lead was 29-15.
Vincent Hunter's three-pointer soon made it 36-19, and it would only get worse for the Bears who were outscored 21-8 in the third period.
There was no let up from Krivonos' team, who led 89-46 when Lashkevich made a lay-up with 48 seconds left before the Bears scored the final five points of the contest, which ended with a three on the buzzer from teenager Sebastian Petersen.
Lashkevich and Branko Mirkovic each had 15 points while Tyrone Brazelton added 12.
Brandon Penn was the only Bears player to score in double figures with 13.
Bakken Bears Aarhus Player Nicolai Iversen
"We weren't prepared for the game. That's why the final margin appeared so big. The team have to forget this game as fast as possible: on Thursday we have a very important clash in our national league. So the main task is to win that one and get ourselves back on the winning track."
Bakken Bears Aarhus Head Coach Ville Tuominen
"Tsmoki were the better team. They were tough, more aggressive and showed the character my team lacked. Against such a good opponent you have to play your ideal game and give 100%. We were far from that."
Tsmoki Minsk Player Branko Mirkovic
"We prepared ourselves for a very tough clash. So it's a bit strange to win by 40 points. Anyway I'm happy for my team and for myself."
Tsmoki Minsk Head Coach Andrei Krivonos
"We have had some bad games in February - and before this clash we even lost two in a row. So that's why all the guys wanted to take some revenge, as to say. We stuck to our plan, fighting with energy and mental toughness. It's a pity that together with the win we lost two players because of injuries. As for Benson the situation isn't disastrous. But as for Hunter we're afraid to lose him for an unidentified period of time."