After the confident win of Khimik in the first play-off game their fans didn’t expect to see Arsenal in Odessa in 8 days again – but poor play of the Ukrainians in Tula made the decisive game today necessary.
The first minutes of the match resembled the first one at the Sport Palace of Odessa, but it was like a mirror image: this time the home team was first to score and the guests scored 9 in a row. And not Anatoli Mischkin but Zvezdan Mitrovic, Head Coach of the Ukrainians, was forced to take a time-out.
But it didn’t change the situation for better: Kapinos was very effective, more or less everybody on the Russian team scored points and Tula led 14-21 after 10 minutes.
Khimik didn’t manage to elevate the mood of their supporters during the second quarter: Arsenal didn’t slow down their attacks, played very hard defense and increased the score difference to 13 points.
After the break the situation changed finally and the Ukrainians got a glimpse of hope, especially when they decreased the gap to 3 points.
But Odessa's hope didn’t come true: Arsenal confidently won the middle of the last quarter with Kapinos and Hairston having scored 10 each. Tula brings home a big win at Odessa and goes to next stage.
MVP of the game: Andrei Kapinos (Arsenal) with 26 points