A sparkling 28 point performance by Maksym Pustozvonov helped Azovmash turn a four point first leg deficit against Entente Orleanaise into a ten point aggregate win after they racked up a 79-65 victory in their return EuroCup Qualifying Round game.
A tentative first quarter saw Azovmash shutting the door for over five minutes as Entente went through a dry spell, after hitting the first basket after 13 seconds.
Strong shooting from long range brought Entente level at 16-16 before Charles Thomas stepped up with six consecutive points for Azovmash to give home team a four point gap 22-18.
Strong defence from both teams saw only 5 points scored inside the first five, with Entente taking them all and racing into the lead at 22-23. Daniel McClintock led the home team during an 11-3 run in the last five minutes to leave the tie finely balanced at 34-26, and the hosts four points ahead on aggregate.
After the break Azovmash came racing out and quickly extended their lead to 14 points at 43-29. Led by Ndoye and Bell, Entente came strongly back and halved the gap before letting it slip as Pustozvonov stood up at the attacking end of the court.
An alley-oop pass from Thomas was coverted by Curry to take the home team 14 points clear at 57-43.
With Sy and Smith dunking a basket each for Entente, the gap was briefly reduced to single digits at 65-56. However with Pustozvonov in unstoppable form, the home team quickly took back a double digit lead at 71-58.
Entente came close only once more - but a strong finish from the home team saw them hold on to the win.
In addition to the scoring of Pustozvonov, the hosts were assisted well by Charles Thomas who claimed 13 points and 6 rebounds - despite running to foul trouble early in the second quarter.
For Orleanaise, Maleye Ndoye claimed 13 points while Troy Bell accumulated 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Entente head coach Philippe Herve
We were not ready to play against Azovmash considering their zone defence. We concentrated more on our domestic game against Cholet. Now we have six new players and they must adapt and learn to play in the team. I consider the positive results will come in future.
Entente player Zacherie Moss
We played badly against Mariupol's zone defence. Generally, I'm not satisfied with either of the two games. We failed to make our shots and thus we lost here with a bigger margin.