The only FIBA Europe League eighth-final play-off series to go to three games concluded today as Ural Great defeated Russian rivals BC Khimki.
Defense was the order of the day for the side from Perm, as they held Khimki to just 32% shooting from the floor, including a miserable 1/18 on three-pointers.
Perm were also able to nail their own shots, as they proved in the first quarter when they hit Khimki for 32 points. They followed that with a defensively intense second quarter which held Khimki to just 11 points.
At halftime Ural Great led 52:33.
It was a lead that Khimki were not able to impact. The heroes of game 2 for Khimki were Vassili Karassev and Sergey Krasnikov as they combined for 36 points in their team’s win. Tonight they were held to a total of just 12 points between them.
Ural Great’s offensive spark was provided by a little-used source. Russian national team guard Zakhar Pashutin stepped up to replace the usually reliable Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who could only muster 5 points. Pashutin scored 16 points on 8/12 shooting and also added 6 assists, earning game MVP honours.
A match-up with Israeli side Strauss Iscar Nahariya awaits Ural Great in the next round.
Sergei Belov, Head Coach Ural Great Perm:
"I am hapy with this game. As a coach I always look at the mistakes we made before but nevertheless I am satisfied with how my players did their best to avoid repeating them. I think today we went out to the floor being more prepared than Khimki and this was our advantage.
Zakhar Pashutin, Guard Ural Great Perm:
This was a very successful game for us. At the very beginning we took the initiative in our hands and never let it go. Everybody in our team played very well. Although Khimki has a very strong offense we were even better playing defense. Ural Great was a real team today and this helped us win.
Sergei Elevitch, Head Coach Khimki Moscow:
First of all I would like to congratulate Ural Great with this very important win that gives them the right to go to the quarter finals. In my opinion we lost today because of our really low shooting percentage. Moreover Khimki's bench is shorter than that of our rival's.