Russia Leave Spain In Pain

17 August 2012

U18 MEN

By Jared Grellet

14. Rostislav Karenin (Russia)
Rostislav Karenin added 10 points in a great Russian team effort, stunning the Spanish fevourites

Turning Point: Igor Kanygin pulls out his second big dunk of the night with 35 seconds to play, ending a three-minute scoring drought for the Russians to hand his team the two-point win.

Game Hero: Serdar Annaev. The Russian captain lead his team's offence with precision.

Stat's Don't Lie: Russia played offence as a unit, making 16 assists compared to Spain's two.

Russia have produced an upset in the opening quarter-final at the Samsung U18 European Championship, knocking over the heavily favoured Spaniards, 58-56.

Struggling just to make it to the quarter-finals, Russia had not been expected to put up too much of a battle for a Spanish team that had only suffered one minor bump through the opening two rounds.

However, Spain's big players failed to come to the party with Sebastian Saiz and Ilimane Diop Gaye failing to assert any dominance under the hoop.

Instead Russia were rewarded for playing as a team with Igor Kanygin and Rotislav Karenin making their biggest contributions at the tournament to date, feeding off the sharp passes from Mikhail Kulagin and Serdar Annaev to often find themselves driving to the basket uncontested.

Kanygin and Karenin both registered 10 points whilst Kulagin and Annaev had four assists apiece.

The game was going to plan early for Spain who quickly acquired a seven-point lead. But with simple shots being missed, Russia were allowed to come back and tie the game at 15 at the end of the opening quarter.

The game then remained tight throughout and looked set to go down to the wire. However, Russia made their break in the opening plays of the final quarter with Mikhail Kulagin sinking a three-pointer, just his team's second of the night, to complete an 8-0 run and have Russia up by 10 with just over seven minutes left to play.

But Spain fought back, tightening their defence and restricting Russia to just six points in six-and-a-half minutes to have scores tied going into the last 30 seconds.

There was time for Kulagin and Kanygin to combine for one more big play with the former getting his pass of to the latter who was driving the lane with purpose, dunking it home to clinch the game.

Guillermo Hernangomez and Alberto Diaz both ended with 18 points for Spain.

 


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