Spartak Saint Petersburg blew a big lead last week at ETHA in Cyprus but didn't make the same mistake twice as they stormed into the Eurocup.
After edging the first leg of the Qualifying Round tie, 60-59, despite leading by 14 in the second half in Nicosia, coach Jure Zdovc and Spartak returned to Russia and rolled to an 83-64 victory.
Point guard Patrick Beverley erupted for a game-high 26 points and also came up with five steals for Spartak, last year's Cup of Russia winners.
Spartak had only a 24-21 advantage early in the second quarter but went to half-time with a 49-36 lead.
Beverley, Valery Likhodey and Loukas Mavrokefalidis each had 10 points and Yotam Halperin nine with five assists at the break for the home side.
The Russians stayed in command for the remainder of the second leg and clinched a 20-point triumph on aggregate.
Halperin finished with seven of his team's 19 assists.
ETHA's Nigerian center Patrick Okafor led the team with 15 points.
Valery Likhodey, player of BC Spartak:
"Last week, in Cyprus it was only our first game of the season, it’s normal that we were nervous. Today it was our second game, and we also played at home. Our fans helped us. We played good in defence and allowed them to score only 64 points. Also the two technical fouls [against Etha] demoralised them. And then the game was under our control."
Jurij Zdovc, head coach of BC Spartak:
"Congratulations to Etha for their good game. They didn’t allow us to relax even for one second. [I'm sure] they’ll do well in the Cyprus League and in EuroChallenge. I also have to congratulate my players. This game wasn’t easy for us. It was our first game in front of our fans, in our gym. It was a very important game. But we must also be realistic and take responsibility for our game. Everything could have been different if the rival didn’t receive those technical fouls and Beverley didn’t make some crazy shots. We would still win but perhaps not with this margin. We practised some things but in the game everything was completely different. We are new team, some players like Dragicevic and Halperin came to the team not so long time ago. We need time. But this fact doesn’t excuse us. I don’t see offensive rebounds. We practiced them a lot. I see a very bad percentage for free throws, no discipline in offense, there were no communications in defense.”
Antonis Constantinides, head coach of BC Etha Engomis:
“Congratulations to Spartak and good luck in the group stage ofEurocup and in Russia. It was very difficult for us from the beginning to play against such team as Spartak. It’s a team with bigger budget, with longer roster than we have. We tried to do our best in preparation for this game. We tried to play good basketball on the court. Also I have to congratulate my players. They tried to give their best on the court. And for us these two games were really an amazing experience, they made us stronger for EuroChallenge and for our local competitions."
Darryl Jackson, player of BC Etha Engomis:
"Congratulations to Spartak. We had a very tough week. Two difficult games against a good team. And we tried to prepare well and to play well. We made so many turnovers and missed many open shots and that hurt us."