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Ukraine: Azovmash Beat Kyiv To Lift Cup

28 April 2006
By Alexei Naumov

Azovmash Mariupol have inflicted another blow on rivals BC Kyiv, beating the EuroCup third-placed team  in the Ukrainian Cup 81-73.

Azovmash recently clinched top spot in the regular season over Kyiv, securing the homecourt advantage for the upcoming play-offs.

Kyiv's loss is an added blow for under-pressure coach Renato Pasquali. Pasquali led Kyiv to a domestic league championship in 2005, but this season has fallen short in the EuroCup (his side fell to Joventut Badalona in the semi-final) and now in the Ukrainian Cup. 

Azovmash laid the foundations for victory in a dominant first half in which they outscored Kyiv 49-26.

Kyiv managed to pick up their game in the second half, but Azovmash's lead proved too large to overcome.
 
Panionis Liadelis was Mariupol's top scorer with 19 points. Khalid El-Amin added 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
 
Kyiv's Lamarr Greer and Goran Nikolic scored 15 points apiece, while Ratko Varda added 10.
 
Both Kyiv and Azovmash had easy roads to the final. In the semi-finals Kyiv beat MBC Mykolaiv 92-70 and Mariupol defeated Khimik Yuzhniy 94-64.
 
Mykolaiv went on to win bronze, beating Yuzhniy 77-75 in overtime.

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