Tuborg Izmir avenged their game one FIBA Europe League play-off loss to Azovmash, pulling out a 76-90 win in Mariupol to keep their season alive.
Azovmash were confident of closing the series at the Mariupol Arena and have only lost once at home all season in the FIBA Europe League. They started the game in relaxed mood, but it was Tuborg that was the more motivated team.
The visitors struck midway through the opening period and a 10-0 run, capped by a Hakan Köseoglu three-pointer at the buzzer, gave them a 12-22 lead after 10 minutes.
It was Azovmash's Art Long who made the difference in game 1, as his 32 points and 11 rebounds led his side to the away victory. In game two, Tuborg center Asim Pars provided a similar kind of leadership. He scored 17 points in the opening 15 minutes of the game and Tuborg were able to take a 9-point lead (33-42) into halftime.
Azovmash were unable to make much inroads into Tuborg's lead in the second half. In fact, the performance was probably the worst of the season by the Ukrainian side and Tuborg were able to hold on for a comfortable 76-90 win.
Pars finished with a game high 21 points for Tuborg, while Köseoglu added 18.
Lior Lubin and Sandis Valters had 16 points apiece for Azovmash and Long scored just 10.
Mete Babaoglu, head coach Tuborg:
"First of all I would love to thank Azovmash their for hospitality - everything was just the way it should be. As to the game, it seems to me Azovmash relaxed after grabbing an away victory and it became a key factor tonight. Anyway, it s 1:1 now and no one can possibly tell what will happen in Izmir on the March 2.
Igor Milicic, Tuborg:
"We came here not to surrender. We showed stable defence and managed to punish Azovmash for all their mistakes. We regained the home court advantage and in the third game we will show a completely different game than in the first one."
Rimas Girskis, head coach Azovmash:
"I agree with my colleague - we relaxed and underestimated our opponent. After the victory in Turkey our guys thought the home court advantage would help them to win. Obviously, it didn't work. I don't want to make excuses for the performance of every player in my team. Now we will start preparing for the third game with Tuborg and on the 2nd of March we will battle until the end.