Sharp-Shooting Russia Down Slovenia

16 July 2013

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10. Alexander Zakharov (Russia)
Alexander and Denis Zakharov had reason to celebrate as Russia are looking much improved in the second round

Russia shot the ball with impressive accuracy on Tuesday to register an 88-69 victory over Slovenia and boost enormously their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals of the Sportland U20 European Championship.

The Russians had entered the first day of action in Second Round Group F with a 0-2 record as they carried over no wins from the First Round but, within less than 24 hours, they claimed back-to-back victories, the first over France on Monday night, and are now one step away from a quarter-final berth.

On Tuesday, Slovenia led throughout the opening quarter but Russia levelled the scores at 18 at the end of the period and pulled away somewhat in the second frame to hold a 44-37 cushion at the interval.

Slovenia reduced the gap to five points shortly after the start of the third quarter but at that point Russia decided it was time to go on shooting practice and leave their rivals behind.

Russia were so effective in finding the open man on almost every single possession that they had hit 17 of their 25 shots from two-point range (68%) and drilled 11 of 17 attempts from beyond the arc (58%) when their lead reached the 20-point mark, 76-56, with less than seven minutes left to play in the encounter.

Interestingly, their field goal percentage going into Tuesday's game was only 40.7 percent, and they ranked only 15th in terms of accuracy in the tournament.

Denis Zakharov made seven of his ten shots from the floor and led all scorers with 20 points, also adding five rebounds and five assists for Russia.

He found plenty of support in Vladislav Trushkin, who contributed 15 points and four assists, and in Maksim Sakharov, who sunk four triples out of his seven attempts to pick up 14 points.

For Slovenia, Miha Lapornik and Ziga Dimec had 14 points apiece in defeat.


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