It was yet another disappointing evening for last-placed PBC CSKA as they lost their ninth game in Group A of the FIBA Europe League against UNICS Kazan. It was a frustrating loss for the home side as they battled strong the entire game, but in the end came up five points short.
The visiting team from Russia opened up the game offensively and by the sixth minute were ahead by ten points. However CSKA was not ready to throw in the towel and fought back to within four points at the end of the first quarter. The story was similar in the second ten minutes of play with UNICS going on an offensive run and CSKA clawing their way back to within four just before the end of the first half.
The start of the second half proved to be the pivotal part of the game. Only down 44-48 CSKA could sense that a victory was attainable, unfortunately though for them their game just did not come together. Plagued by turnovers and being out-rebounded by 16, they just weren't able to find their rhythm and UNICS was able to enjoy their largest lead of the game.
In the final ten minutes of play CSKA was unable to muster up enough offensive fury to make up the ten-point margin. UNICS continued to play consistently on both ends of the floor, and went on to win with a final score of 88-93.
The topscorer for CSKA was Desmond Ferguson with 26 points. For the winners the top scorer was Shammond Williams who finished with 21 points. Aleksandar Miloserdov and Christopher Anstey had impressive performances off the bench contributing 17 and 14 points respectively.
"I am not happy because this was another loss for us. We played well, but in the crucial minutes of the game UNICS was the better team. Our game is strugling because we don't have a healthy playmaker. It's too hard to play without a point-guard in matches like that. We must finish out the group stage with one more win. I hope that we can beat Apoel Galil Elion next week or Kiev at home in our last game."
Stanislav Eremine - Head Coach of UNICS
"I knew that CSKA is playing much better at home and I was prepared that this would be a tough game for us. We won because were more concentrated in the crucial parts of the game. We couldn't afford to lose in Sofia because we want to get through to the next part of the competition. Both Shammond Williams and Alexander Miloserdov had good games. I was immpressed by the play of Dimitar Anegelov from the home team."