|05 August 2010|
|Burak Haciismail was a beast at the boards with 9 rebounds out of which 4 were offensive ones|
Turkey stormed into the U16 European Championship with a 71-50 win over Russia in Group D action at Sports Hall Topolica in Bar, Montenegro on Thursday evening.
The victory bestows Turkey a big advantage before the next days in the Preliminary Round with a big margin win over a tough opponent.
The Turks hang on to a 1-0 record in the group before playing the hosting team of Montenegro tomorrow, while Russia will seek their first win when they take on Israel in Day 2.
Tayfun Erülkü led the winners with 21 points and six rebounds while the duo Metin Türen and Ismail Gülmez had 11 points each.
Mikhail Kulagin was the top scorer of Russia with 14 followed by Rostislav Karenin with nine points and six rebounds.
"I think we played against one of the best teams in the tournament," said the bench boss of Russia Oleg Meleschenko.
"They have a very good chance to win a medal, while we weren't ready for this game as they were I believe.
"We made too many mistakes, they grabbed 24 more rebounds and it shows in the final score even if I don't think the gaps between us are that big."
It was Russia who held the lead in the first quarter as Kulagin led his team to a 10-17 lead at the bottom of the opening period, yet that's when Turkey was about to start their answer.
Erülkü led a 12-0 run and Kenan Sipahi hit from the arc to register a 37-27 lead after 20 minutes of basketball at Topolica.
"We were very focused on defense today," commented Erhan Toker, coach of Turkey.
"We watched Russia play several times and we were ready for them, so when we switched to zone defense we figured they could have a problem, and we were right.
"Although we made a lot of turnovers we covered for that with our defense, and I can be very pleased with our defensive effort today," he concluded.
Early in the second half Russia managed to stop the Turkish run, but before the fourth quarter started Turkey stormed again and with a big step up on the defensive end limited Russia to only three points in the first 7:30 minutes of the closing period.
It was more than enough to ignite a run, that reached 62-41, a gap that last until the very last siren of the game.