Referees: Fedor Dmitriev (BLR), Milan Mazic (SRB), Sergiy Chaykovskyy (UKR)
Scales Weighs In For Samara
Alex Scales and Yavin Green combined to score 60 points as CSK-VVS Samara got their EuroCup Qualifying Round campaign off to a flying start with a 94-82 win over Lappeenranta.
Scales led the way with 34 points - 12 coming in a final quarter which CSK-VVS won 26-12 - while Green supplied the support firepower with 26.
Israel international Green also added 15 rebounds, while the Finns were led by Adrian Henning's 23 points and aided by the contributions of Pasi Riihela and Juha Sten, who each scored 13.
Petri Virtanen bagged 11 points, but made just two of 12 (17%) from long range.
Mika Turunen's team in general struggled from outside of the arc, hitting 10 of 30 (33%) chances.
Lappeenranta took an early 10-6 lead only to see the Russians use a 9-0 run for a 15-10 advantage.
The Finns, however, answered with three-balls from Henning and Reinar Hallick to grab a 27-22 advantage after the first period.
Triples by Ivan Harris and Virtanen and Henning's three-point play pushed the lead to 12 points at 40-28.
Scales completed a four-point play and hit another three-pointer in Samara's immediate 9-0 response, but a long-ball by Riihela secured Lappeenranta a 51-46 cushion at the break.
Scales opened the second half with another three-pointer but two Henning baskets kept the Finns up 70-63 with a minute left in the third.
Green, however, converted a three-point play and Sergey Demeshkin's jumper made it a 70-68 game going into the fourth.
Valeriy Tikhonenko's Samara finally pulled ahead 71-70 on Marque Perry's long-ball to start the fourth.
Green and Scales then combined for eight points during an 11-2 Samara surge to signal the end for Lappeenranta.
Virtanen's three-pointer trimmed the margin back to five points at 82-77, but Green and Scales again combined for eight points in a 10-0 CSK-VVS run to build a 92-77 advantage with two minutes left.
Quotes CSK-VVS-Samara vs. Lappeenranta
Mika Turunen, coach Lappeenranta:
"We have played very well, but didn’t handle well two players of Samara team, Alex Scales and Yaniv Green the ones who ultimately punished us. So we will make the neccassary adjustments and try to win the second leg in our court."
Valery Tikhonenko, coach CSK-VVS-Samara:
"I agree that we made our fans nervous, by starting the game badly. Fortunatelly, all is well that ends well. We couldn’t play on the top of our abilities, but we still won – and this is the main thing! We knew that in Lappeenranta every player is dangerous, that all the basketball players of this club are shooters. But I think that the guest team has played even better today than anyone could think. The second game on their court will be even more difficult, I guess."