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Russia: Lazic Cautious As Spartak Look To Clinch Title

21.03.2006

Spartak Moscow are taking nothing despite holding a 15-point advantage from the first leg of their EuroCup Women final against Pays D´Aix.

The Russians, who boast an incredible line-up which includes Lisa Leslie (United States), Ticha Penicheiro (Portugal), Linda Frohlich (Germany) and Gordana Grubin (Serbia & Montenegro) - all seasoned internationals - are huge favourites as the second leg will be staged in Moscow on Tuesday evening.

But Spartak coach Nedelko Lazic told Sport-Express: "Every game starts with a clean sheet.

"You should forget about previous games. We'll play on Tuesday as if we have no advantage.

"According to my coaching philosophy, we must be better in every game."

A win would allow Spartak to take away some of the spotlight that is normally dominated by fellow Russian outfit BC Volgaburmash, who are the defending EuroLeague Women champions.

Volgaburmash are undefeated in the Superleague and they are also in the EuroLeague Women Final Four again.

Lazic said: "We showed our best basketball this season in the first game against Pays D´Aix.

"However, I wouldn't say that we've won that game easily. There is a great amount of hard work behind the ease (of our victory).

"We've been playing only three months with the current squad."

Spartak vice-president Shabtai Kalmanovich was less guarded with his remarks.

"We have the advantage," he said.

"Spartak haven't lost an international game at home this season.

"We have a wonderful squad and beautiful supporters but the final whistle hasn't been blown yet.

"If we lose the cup - it's basketball and the rivals are very strong. But I believe in our success."

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