Russia: Ural-Great Clain Cup Triumph Over CSKA

16 April 2004

FIBA Europe League side Ural-Great Perm stunned CSKA Moscow to clinch the Russian Cup with a shock 105-99 win on their home court.

Ksistof Lavrinovic had 24 points to inspire Ural-Great to victory, while a game-high 26 points from Marcus Brown and 25 from Jon Holden were not enough to save CSKA.

The result is a major triumph for Ural-Great, who are third in the Superleague A but four games adrift of CSKA, who have held a stranglehold on matters in the league for much of the campaign.

But Ural-Great are a fine side in their own right, as they have proved in reaching the Final Four of the FIBA Europe League, where they face another Russian team, UNICS Kazan, on April 22.

Ural-Great won the game in the first and second quarters, when they enjoyed an astounding level of superiority over their shell-shocked opponents.

The team from the province of Perm, famous for its tradition of performing arts including ballet, led their opponents a merry dance in the first quarter to claim a 27-21 advantage.

And Ural-Great were even more graceful in the second period to ensure they held a commanding 52-37 lead at the halfway mark.

CSKA had to respond, and they duly did.

They had cut the deficit to 77-68 by the end of the third quarter but, despite losing a tense final period 31-28, Ural-Great remained composed to hang on and record a marvellous triumph.

Lavrinovic, a 2.10m centre who was a member of Lithuania's Eurobasket winning team last autumn, was superb throughout.

As well as his 24 point-haul, Lavrinovic also grabbed 11 rebounds and was three of four from behind the arc - a genuine match-winning performance.

Even though CSKA out-rebounded their opponents 32-22, they had no answer to Lavrinovic, who will now be hoping to cap a magnificent year by leading his team to victory in the FIBA Europe League.

UNICS Kazan have been warned.

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