|Zoran Krstanovic and CSU Mobitelco were with their back against the wall but got themselves some room to breathe with the road win in Krasnoyarsk|
CSU Mobitelco surprised BC Enisey 81-73 in Russia on Tuesday to spark their EuroChallenge campaign into life.
Losers in their first two games, the Romanian club prevailed to leave both sides with 1-2 records in Group E.
CSU had lost their first game at home to Elan Chalon by just four points but last week in Belgium, they crashed to an 87-63 defeat at Antwerp Giants.
Their performance against Enisey was much improved.
A three-ball from guard Andrey Komarovskiy had put the Krasnoyarsk team in front, 69-66, with 4:35 to play but Vladimir Mijovic came to the rescue for CSU.
First he scored with a jump shot after collecting an offensive rebound and then, he buried a shot from the arc for a 71-69 lead.
Following a lay-up by teammate Kyndall Dykes, Mijovic capped the 9-0 CSU run with another three-pointer for a 76-69 advantage.
The 26-year-old Serbian center wasn't done.
After Jasmin Hukic made one of two free-throws for Enisey, Mijovic caught a pass from David Lawrence and drilled another jump shot to take his points haul to a game-high 24 and stretch the visitors' advantage to 78-70.
Enisey were led by Lonny Baxter's 23 points.
Long-range shooting played a big part in the outcome with CSU making nine of 26 and Enisey just three of 22.
Vladimir Mijovic, U-Mobitelco player:
"Firstly I would like to thank our team for a good game. Enisey is a really strong opponent, having really strong players in their roster. That fact motivated us to play really hard. As you know, we unfortunately had lost the game in Antwerp and one home game. Despite of the fact that we had to play with a short bench (7-8 players) we fought until the end and won the game."
Marcel Țenter, U-Mobitelco coach:
"We would like to thank Krasnoyarsk for their hospitality, we really enjoyed staying here. And it was an honor to play against such opponent. The Romanian championship is not as strong as the Russian one. Last week was really hard for us, moreover one of our key players - Krstanovic was not able to play in this game. We had only one task for the game - to do our best. And I am glad that the players received my message and they played as hard as they could. This victory is a great contribution to our confidence, but it will mean something only if we will go on playing like this. I wish Enisey the best of luck, it must be a big challenge to play in three competitions at the same time."
Andrei Komarovskiy, Enisey player:
"We had an emotional and physical decline. We spent a lot of energy in our previous game against Nizniy Novgorod. I cannot give this as an excuse and I cannot say we were not ready today. We came well prepared for the opponent, but probably we lacked the concentration and clear head in the game. We should have won today, but we missed our shots while we did not play Baxter on low post as we should have. And we started shooting threes we just kept missing. In the beginning while we came out fresh, we held in the game for some time, but you cannot blame the team of thinking that the rest of the game is a piece of cake after such promising start. As we got tired the game declined, we had not enough freshness. Furthermore the center, playing against Lonny (Mijovic) took us by surprise with such a good three-point-shooting."
Stevan Karadzic, Enisey coach:
"Before the game I told the team that they will have to play for the whole 40 minutes, and that 20 of 30 would not be enough. At the beginning the game went well for us, but as Cluj started making their shots, we grew nervous. Today our long distance shooting was a complete catastrophe. Hukic, as our experienced sniper, missed all of his 6 three-pointers. I do not know what went wrong. Unfortunately, we are short of time for analysis, as in only two days we are leaving for our next road game."