Russia Rebound With Convincing Win


After suffering a disappointing loss to Belgium over the weekend, Russia took out their frustrations on the Czech Republic early and cruised to a 104-81 win.

David Blatt’s men shot an astounding 64.5 percent on two-point field goals and were almost equally impressive from beyond the arch by making 11-of-21.

The Russians had six players in double-figure scoring, led by Victor Khryapa’s 23 points.

Jon Robert Holden (Russia)
Jon Robert Holden scored 15 points for Russia.
Playing in his first game of the EuroBasket 2007 qualifying campaign, Khryapa made a sudden impact by connecting on 8-of-11 overall from the field, which included 3-of-4 from three-point range.

Defensively, Russia was on top of their game as well.

Jiri Welsch, who had entered play averaging 25.5 points in two Czech Republic wins, was held to 10 on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.

Russia went on a 15-0 run late in the first quarter and would never relinquish their advantage from there.

Leading 15-14 at the three-minute mark, Khryapa scored his first points on a jumper.

Sergey Bykov then made a jumper and three-pointer to extend the run to 7-0.

Aleksey Savrasenko made one of two from the foul line, JR Holden hit a three and Khryapa and Nikolai Padius scored on lay-ups to cap the run, which put Russia up 30-14 lead.

Khryapa’s tap in midway through the second quarter put Russia ahead by more than 20 for the first time on the night, 40-19.

Before the end of the second quarter, Khryapa dunked with 15 seconds remaining, and following a Czech turnover, Khryapa made a lay-up seconds before the halftime buzzer to put his side up 56-25.

In the second half, the Czech Republic would get no closer than 18.

The one offensive bright spot for Zdenek Hummel was the play of Lubos Barton, who tallied 27 points in a losing cause.

After suffering their first loss in their qualifying campaign, the Czech Republic will try to bounce back on Saturday when they play at Belgium.

Russia will attempt to win two in a row when they play at Hungary on Saturday.

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