Unics Kazan of Russia withstood a spirited challenge by ratiopharm Ulm of Germany to win 91-73 in their Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds game on Wednesday in Desio, Italy. Unics stays in the tournament, to play either Le Mans Sarthe Basket of France or BC Donetsk of Ukraine on Thursday. Ulm is eliminated, but will make its Eurocup debut, instead, this season. Terrell Lyday blistered the nets by making 5 of his first 6 triples on the way to 21 points for the night to lead the winners. Ian Vougioukas provided the inside scoring for Unics with 18 points, while Petr Samoylenko, Chuck Eidson, Mire Chatman and Lyday each had 4 or more assists. Ulm, which made first-half noise with a 0-15 run and tried to do it again with the first 7 points of the fourth quarter, couldn't keep up with Unics, which was a Euroleague quarterfinalist last season. Allan Ray and John Bryant scored 17 points each for Ulm.
Dueling triples by Lyday and Bryant forged an early 5-5 tie that Vougioukas broke with a back-to-back baskets. Lyday pushed the difference up to 14-9 with 5 more points from outside, but a tip-in from Dane Watts kept Ulm close. Even when Vladimir Veremeenko went backdoor to make it 18-11, Bryant answered with a layup. But with three new scorers late in the quarter - Chatman, Eidson and Igor Zamanskiy - Unics was able to stretch its lead to double digits, 24-14, after 10 minutes.
Unics continued going to its big men, Veremeenko and Vougioukas, to keep building on the lead to 33-16. Ulm struggled with fouls that put Unics in the bonus with 6:11 left in the second quarter. Unics was on the verge of making the difference 20 points until Ulm forged a turnaround following a timeout as Per Guenther and Bryant scored 4 points each to make it 35-25. Ulm's defense was now bothering Unics and getting rebounds as Daniel Theis scored on another fastbreak and Guenther added a free throw at 35-28. The run finally ended at 0-15 on triple by Ray that got Ulm as close as 37-32 at halftime.
Lyday started the second half as he had the first, drilling his fourth three-pointer of the game. Kostas Kaimakoglou pushed the Unics lead to 42-34, but Ulm wouldn't go away as Steven Esterkamp buried a three at 46-40. Kaimakoglou answered that immediately from the arc, however, and Vougioukas scored back-to-back baskets inside to restore a double-figure edge that reached 60-44 despite a nice dunk by Watts for Ulm. Chatman's three-pointer matched the highest Unics lead at 19 points before Lyday bettered that by finishing the third quarter with his fifth shot from the arc as the score read 72-52 after 30 minutes.
When the fourth quarter started with Ray and Keaton Nankivil scoring 5 straight points, no one needed to be reminded that Ulm had a previous 0-15 run in this game. A Guenther-to-Nankivil back-door basket followed by a steal seemed to give Ulm momentum, but an unsportsmanlike foul led to Pavel Sergeev hitting back-to-back three-pointers to steady Unics. Chatman than provided a new high lead, 81-60, on a fastbreak with under 7 minutes to play and Unics preserved that margin the rest of the way, turning its attention to Thursday's matchup against either Le Mans or Donetsk. The survivor after Friday's final game among the eight teams in the qualifying rounds will be the 24th and final team to play in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012