With their backs up against the wall, BS Energy Braunschweig travelled to Ukraine on Tuesday night in the hope of a victory against Azovmash to keep their play-off chances alive.
With the pressure on the German side in this Group B game of the FIBA Europe League, the home team came out cool and collected and jumped out to an early 10-0 lead.
After the four minute mark Braunschweig finally got themselves on the board and the two teams exchanged baskets for the rest of the period to make the score 22-12 after ten minutes. Azovmash up by a comfortable ten points, came out a bit too sluggish and saw their margin dwindle to five points.
When team leader Art Long went to the bench after receiving his fourth personal foul on a technical, nobody on the home side stepped up and Braunschweig with help from Adam Hall, won the quarter and cut the lead to five points.
Azovmash came out after the halftime speech fired up and quickly regained the lead that they had built up in the first quarter. Braunschweig had no solutions for the suffocating defense they were facing or the offensive fury of the home team. In this quarter of play the damage was done as Azovmash outscored the visitors 31-13 and led 65-42 at the end of the third.
Down by 23 with ten minutes left and thus the hopes of making the playoffs looking bleak, Braunschweig came out and simply played basketball. In the end however, Azovmash went on to win 90-66, and for the second consecutive season clinch a spot in the playoffs of the FIBA Europe League.
The home side which saw five players in double digits, was led by Petro Podtykan who went 4/5 from downtown. BS Energy Braunschweig's Hall notched 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead his team.
Henrik Dettmann, Head Coach of BS Energy Braunschweig:
"I am satisfied with the game of my team only in second quarter. In general, we played really unconfident in defense letting the opponents to shoot from the good spots. I can only add that Azovmash is one of the best teams we've faced in the FIBA Europe League. They could be the leaders of this tournament."
Rimas Girskis, Head Coach of Azovmash:
"In my past two months here, we were able to improve our team work. I still see a lot of room for improvement, meaning that things could be done better in offense and defense. In general, I am glad with the win. From tomorrow on we will start preparing for the playoffs of the FIBA Europe League."
Petro Podtykan, Player for Azovmash:
"I didn't see much time in previous games, so tonight I just wanted to prove to the head coach and myself that I can be really useful for the team. I am glad that I succeded."