After opening the season with a disastrous 0-4 start, Ural Great are showing glimmers of the kind of form that saw them earn a spot in last season's FIBA Europe League Final Four. Although the play-offs remain a distant goal, on the evidence of their home win against Pepinster, ther may just be some hope yet.
Ural Great started out the first quarter with a large lineup consisting of four forwards and point guard Vyacheslav Shushakov. With this lineup and tough interior defense leading to steals, they were able to jump out to a quick 10-0 lead.
|Sharon Shason finished with a season-high 28 points for Ural Great |
The start of the second quarter was marred by turnovers and unsuccessful offensive attacks for the visitors. Ural Great continued to pound Pepinster with their offensive possessions and in turn took a 20-point lead.
The visitors resorted to three-pointers in order to cut their deficit and were led by Aleksandar Zecevic and Veselin Petrovic who combined for 25 of Pepinster's 38 first-half points. However the home team still maintained a 53-38 lead at the half.
Coming out perhaps too confident at the start of the third quarter, Ural Great saw their comfortable twenty-point lead unfold into a slight seven-point margin thanks to strong play by Marcus Douthit, Petrovic, and Zecevic.
At this point the home team woke up and started to play tough on the defensive end. The scoring duo of Sharon Shason and Jurica Golemac put Ural Great up 77-63 at the start of the fourth quarter.
In the final period Ural Great shot the lights out and bettered their lead to 86-70. At this point Pepinster started to make careless turnovers and saw any hope of a comeback shattered. Shason and Golemac led the home team to a 103-79 win with 28 and 21 points respectively.
Eddy Casteels, Coach of Verviers-Pepinster:
"We started the game very badly, the first quarter was very slow and weak. On the other side Ural Great was doing very well. We then took a lot of efforts to decrease the difference and managed to narrow the gap to 7 points. However we couldn’t take advantage of this and let the hosts build up their lead again. They grabbed all the rebounds and made fast-breaks, they did everything they wanted and they deserved this victory."
Veselin Petrovic, Verviers-Pepinster:
"I think it was a very good game to see and I would like to congratulate Ural Great with this victory. They played better defense which helped them make up a safe lead and keep it up to the end of the game."
Valdemaras Chomicius, Coach of Ural Great Perm:
"We won this game because we played as a whole team. Everybody played at his best. We made some mistakes but our wish to struggle and win was stronger than that of our opponent. I would like to thank all of my players for this game and especially Sharon Shason who didn’t practice with the team for three days because of the problems with his back and today went out on the court and showed a good game."
Sharon Shason, Ural Great Perm:
"It was a very good game, we tried to keep our defense tough and we managed to do it. We caught every lost ball, we pulled more rebounds and made more assists than them. We were better in every category because our wish to struggle and win was stronger today. In future I think we can play even better. This Saturday we a play Russian championship game at home and I hope we will win it too."