by Dan Casey
|Vasily Martynov had a great game for Russia with 16 points and 4 rebounds|
Russia kept their qualification hopes alive with an 81-70 win over Greece in Pardubice on Wednesday afternoon.
The Russian team had to wait until Wednesday evening to discover their fate. Spain's win over Serbia ensured that Russia will advance to the Quarter-Finals.
Russia's extra activity on the boards gave them a 40-30 rebounding advantage, and they held the Greek team to 40% shooting in the victory while making 54% of their own shots.
Russia were led by Pavel Sizov's 23 points, and Viacheslav Fedorchenko contributed 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Sergey Zhulkov added a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Vasily Martynov also scored 16 points. Greece were led by 14 points from Georgios Diamantakos.
Russia had a 10-0 run in the first quarter but Greece fought back and the score was 18-17 to Russia at the end of the first period. A 9-0 run including 7 points from Sizov pushed Russia ahead again in the second period, and Sizov's jump-shot put Russia up 39-33 at the break.
Fedorchenko's lay-up with 2:49 left in the third period extended the lead to 15 points, and though the Greek team fought hard, they were not able to come back.
Russia will play defending champions Croatia in the Quarter-Final on Friday in Pardubice. Croatia are the only team in the competition with a 6-0 record, but Russia have shown that if Fedorchenko and Sizov heat up, they have a devastating offense.