In tonight's FIBA Europe League match-up the first place team in Group B, Iscar Strauss, was on the road to battle third placed Azovmash. Feeling the pressure of the game, both teams started out slowly and after four minutes of play the score was 4-4.
With nerves still visible on both sides, MVP of the game Art Long responded with two back-to-back slams. With that the home side jumped into gear and came out on top 22-15 after the first ten minutes.
Azovmash carried their offensive momentum into the second quarter as Arnas Kazlauskas drained two long-distance three-pointers. The visitors were led by Arthur Lee who was forced to take action into his own hands; however they saw themselves down by 17 points at the half.
At the start of the second half, the home team came out too confident and saw the visitors cut into their lead. When center Long went to the bench for a break, the visitors went on a run and ended third quarter down by only 11.
Refocusing their attention, Azovmash started the final quarter with a new level of concentration. With a combination of steels, fast breaks, dunks, and solid outside shooting the home team won dominantly 105-77.
Avi Ashkenazi, Head Coach of Iscar Strauss:
"What can I say, we played really terrible tonight. I saw Azovmash gained a lot since our last meeting and I am sure it will be difficult for the others to beat this team at home if they keep playing like that.
We suffered the second loss in the Europe League tonight but I think it's no big deal. The good game - that's what we need to have and we will continue trying to get to the next round."
Barak Peleg, Player for Iscar Strauss:
"Tonight we lost as a team and I am surely upset about that. And what upsets me the most is not the loss but the way we lost."
Rimas Girskis, Head Coach of Azovmash:
"We are trying to change something. The first steps have been taken and as for the others... we just need some more time. Overall I am glad we had such a good game and what pleases me the most is the fact that we speak about how to play this or that system, and the guys on the court point out to each other what mistakes they made and how to avoid them."
Volodymyr Gurtovyy, Player for Azovmash:
"The game was pretty good except the 3-4 minutes in the beginning of the third quarter. Maybe we relaxed too much but I am glad we could come back."