Triumph Lyubertsy outlasted Hapoel Galil Elyon 84-68 on Tuesday at the Triumph Sports Palace to take a share of the Group E lead with a 2-0 record. Igor Zamanskiy scored 21 points and Ognjen Askrabic posted 11 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists for the home team, which used a 9-0 second-period run to take the lead and never look back. Galil hung around thanks to the scoring of Clif Brown and the leadership of former ULEB Cup champ Doron Sheffer and was only down 8 midway through the fourth quarter, but Zamanskiy and Mire Chatman finished things off for the home side. Chatman added 17 points for Lyubertsy and Sergey Toporov posted 11. Galil, which dropped to 0-2, got 16 points from Brown, while Mike Campbell and Gili Mossinson added 13 and Sheffer had 10.
The game got off to a slow pace. Askrabic set up Toporov for the game's first basket, before Clif Brown netted Galil's first points on the offensive glass. Askrabic remained a focal part of the Triumph attack, assisting on his teams next two baskets, including one to Uros Slokar, who then scored twice inside for an 11-4 Lyubertsy lead. Galil fought back and took a 16-18 lead at the end of the period on a Sheffer three-pointer. The lead switched sides on the first three baskets of the second period, however Askrabic scored 6 during a 9-0 run that put Triumph in control and Fedor Likholitov and Zamanskiy stepped up to send the hosts to the locker room at halftime leading 41-30. Galil looked ready to make its move in the third quarter and Mossinson helped the visitors cut into the Lyubertsy lead, which stood at 60-53 heading into the last 10 minutes. The hosts were unable to shake the pesky Galil squad and the score stood at 71-63 midway through the fourth quarter. However that's when Triumph made its move and Chatman and Zamanskiy led the final charge to give the hosts the home win.
Triumph Lyubertsy Moscow Region head coach Stanislav Eremin
"Our team was under psychological pressure after our Russian League loss. One reason why I'm happy now is that our Russian players were able to change the game. But of course, the team leaders played a good game, too, like Chatman in attack."
Triumph Lyubertsy Moscow Region center Uros Slokar
"Our last two games, against Buducnost in the ULEB Cup and Spartak-Primorie in the Russian League, were very hard for us. And we lost the second of those. That's why we were nervous and began so uncertain. But after that start, we were able to put everything into its place and win."
Hapoel Galil Elyon head coach Eliot Kaneti
"It was a tough game against a good and strong team. During three quarters we have showed good game, but without our big players, it was hard to play in defense. That is why we've lost the game. But we are planning to buy a big player next week to make our roster stronger."
Hapoel Galil Eylon center Josh Nigut
"We had a hard flight, and then we got into a traffic jam in Moscow. We are not used to such weather conditions. These conditions influenced us badly. In the second quarter, we could not organize the game properly. At that moment, Triumph took the game under control. We were able not only to tie the score, but also to take the lead. But Triumph had more success finishing their attacks. Unfortunately, we could not win. But, of course, we had a chance."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007