Russia: Drucker Wary Of Khimik Challenge

22.03.2006

By Andrew Bagguley, PA Sport

Ural Great Perm coach Sharon Drucker has warned his side not to underestimate Khimik when the two meet again in the second-leg of the EuroCup Challenge final on Thursday.

Khimik will travel to Russia aiming to overturn the 80-67 defeat they suffered last week in Ukraine.

A victory or defeat by less than 12 points would be enough for Ural to claim their first European title.

They seized the advantage with an 11-1 run in the last seven minutes of the first tie, but despite their good form, Drucker is warning his players to stay focused.

Jurica Golemac (Ural Great Perm)
Jurica Golemac scored 16 points for Ural Great in the first game
He told PA Sport: "We played the last game with a lot of determination and intensity but for me this is now only half-time.

"We must play well if we are to beat Khimik and although it is good to be at home in front of our fans, we must make sure that we prepare carefully for the match. We start this game at 0-0 and we must do enough to win the second-half of the tie."

During last week's first-half, Khimik led 28-24 and were still in with a great chance at half-time as they trailed 39-36, before a total of seven turnovers in their last 13 possessions swung the game in Ural's favour.

However, Drucker believes the match will be far from easy as the Ukrainian based team look to bounce back.

"They have quality players all over the court and we both know each other very well," he added.

Jurica Golemac and Derrick Alston led Ural with 16 points each last week and Drucker will be hoping they can maintain their form.

And the Israeli also admitted he is not imagining a cup victory and that no celebrations have been planned yet.

"We can't make any plans before the basketball as we have a long way to go. I am just concentrating on this second game."


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