By Yarone Arbel
Russia secured their spot in the next round of EuroBasket 2007 with an easier than expected 90-56 win over Israel on the second day of games in Group A in Granada.
Israel dropped to 0-2 and must beat Serbia tomorrow to qualify to the next round.
The Russian side took a double digit lead already at the end of the first half, but took total
control over the game in the first minutes of the second half behind a massive effort.
|Lior Eliyahu was the shining light for Israel with 17 points in the loss.|
"Our players approached the game in the right way with the right attitude and the right level of energy," commented the coach of the winning side, David Blatt.
Energy surely wasn't missing tonight for Russia.
Andrei Kirilenko, for the second night in a row, turned in a big performance with 17 points and 13 rebounds, turning in 10 boards, five assists and two blocks in the first half alone.
In the first half it took him some time to get into a scoring rhythm so he focused on helping his teammates produce.
Israel was in the game for one quarter, and trailed 17-15 after ten minutes, but Sergei Monya scored five points to lead a 7-0 Russian run early in the second quarter.
Kirilenko added five points of his own to bring Russia to the half time break with a 37-23 advantage.
Russia went on an 18-2 run to open the second half.
Even the ever lasting fighting Israeli team realized the meaning of that.
The last 15 minutes of the game were garbage time.
"I'm not happy and satisfied with the way we played, but we have to recover for tomorrow, because this is how it works in EuroBasket," said the Israeli coach, Zvi Sherf, speaking from experience.
Lior Eliyahu tried to save some of Israel's pride and managed to collect 17 points, but Russia kept hammering and finished the game with a 34 point win.