UNICS Upset In Energa Czarni Slupsk

14 October 2008

UNICS Kazan face an uphill battle to save their EuroCup campaign after going down 76-62 to Energa Czarni Slupsk in Poland in the first leg of their first round qualifier.

The Russians were second best from start to finish as their Polish hosts did not give them a sniff in this one.

Indeed, the only comfort that UNICS will be able to take from the game is the fact they were able to score the final seven points of the contest, turning a possible 21-point deficit into a 14-point one going into the second leg next week.

Energa were up 76-55 after Rolando Howell sank a jump-shot with 4:41 to go, but those would be the final points the hosts would score as UNICS found some rhythm in the final stages.

Tariq Kirksay set up VladimirVeremeenko for an alley-oop before scoring the next four points himself, first with a jump-shot and then with an alley-oop of his own set up by Marko Popovic.

Popovic then completed the mini-revival by splitting a pair of free throws 38 seconds from the end.

UNICS shot a blistering 22 of 35 (62.8%) from two-point range but made only two of 12 (16.6%) from beyond the arc and 12 of 23 (52.1%) from the charity stripe in the losing effort.

That compared to stunning assault from long-range by the hosts, who made 10 of 19 (52.6%) from three-point range, with Jason Straight sinking three of his five efforts and Mantas Cesnauskis making both of his shots.

UNICS wasted 26 points from Kresimir Loncar.

Straight and Demetric Bennett each scored 15 points for Energa, who also got 12 each from Cesnauskis and Jack Ingram.

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