Spartak On A Mission

31 March 2011
44. Henry Domercant (Spartak)
Henry Domercant and Spartak will meet Lokomotiv Kuban in the Semi-Final of the EuroChallenge which they reached by sweeping Pinar Karsiyaka 2-0

Spartak Saint-Petersburg are a huge story in the city these days.

They captured the Russian cup and now have a good chance to win one in Europe.

Spartak will play at the EuroChallenge Final Four and it's something the coaches and players are looking forward to.

Led by Israeli coach Zvi Sherf, Spartak have overcome injuries to some key men and been the most consistent and dominant side in the EuroChallenge, winning 12 of their 14 games, including a 2-0 sweep of Pinar Karsiyaka in the Quarter-Finals.

Sherf's team will square off against Lokomotiv Kuban at the Final Four.

"Everyone at the club wants to win this Cup," Sherf said.

"In the semi-finals, we're playing Lokomotiv-Kuban and the date of the game - April 29 - is marked in my diary.

"Prior to that, we have five games in the PBL championship of the PBL and then a week to prepare for the Final Four."

Anton Ponkrashov, a EuroBasket 2007 gold-medal winner with Russia, knows what it takes to win the big games.

"It is foolish to talk about our attitude to the Final Four," he said.

"It is clear that we will go out and fight for victory.

"The current Spartak is rewriting the history of the club.

"After a long dry spell, we won the first trophy (Russian Cup) and now there is the smell of blood, the smell of victory. And we want to continue to win and win this trophy."

The Big Game In Belgium

BC Telenet Oostende would have preferred a 2-0 sweep of BK Ventspils in their EuroChallenge Quarter-Final Series last Friday but instead endured a double-overtime defeat.

7. Darrel Mitchell (BC Oostende)
Darrel Mitchell returned to the court in time to give BC Oostende a lift over BK Ventspils in the Play-Offs

The setback in the Baltics didn't cost them, though.

All it did was ensure there would be one of the greatest atmospheres of the season on Wednesday night when the two sides met in a Game 3 decider in Belgium.

Oostende fans turned out in big numbers and helped fire their team to a 70-63 victory.

Matt Lojeski, who has delivered big baskets on numerous occasions this season but missed a potential game-winner in Latvia last week, was in the clouds after Wednesday's triumph.

"What a fun game to be a part of," he said.

"From the beginning of the game, we got a lot of energy of our fans."

BK Ventspils Head Coach Guntis Endzels didn't celebrate a victory but at least got a taste of what makes Belgian basketball so special.

"What an atmosphere to play in" he said.

"Great fans here in Oostende."

Ventspils' Akseli Vaigros, who played nine minutes on Wednesday, said:"It's a great place to play, great city, great fans.

Oostende's opponents at the Final Four will be KRKA Novo Mesto, who won a thrilling Game 3 decider at home against Lukoil Academic on Wednesday.


01.05.2011 - EuroChallenge
01.05.2011 - EuroChallenge
29.04.2011 - EuroChallenge
29.04.2011 - EuroChallenge
26.04.2011 - EuroChallenge

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