UNICS cruises past Baskonia for second win
UNICS Kazan blasted Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz with a comprehensive 83-69 home victory on Wednesday night. UNICS made a fast start with runs of 10-0 and 7-0 establishing a 24-17 lead at the end of the first. It got even better for the hosts in the second quarter with an 18-0 run to go ahead 48-19, and Baskonia only scored 6 points in that second period. The rest of the game was a non-contest as UNICS cruised home. Andrey Vorontsevich led the home team with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while John Brown had 14 points and 5 steals, Jarrell Brantley scored 11 and Marco Spissu impressed with 5 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. Baskonia’s Wade Baldwin led all scorers with 23 points, Tadas Sedekerskis had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Matt Costello added 18 points. UNICS improves to 2-4 while Baskonia drops to 3-3.
UNICS made a fast start with inside scores from Mario Hezonja and John Brown, before Brantley struck from deep for a 7-3 lead. Jayson Granger nailed a three-pointer but Lorenzo and John Brown were both on target for a 13-6 edge. Brantley scored twice to make it a double-digit advantage with a 10-0 run, which was ended by a triples from Granger and Baldwin, pulling it back to 17-12. Baldwin completed a 0-8 run with a jumper, but Tonye Jekiri and Vorontsevich hit back. OJ Mayo scored his first EuroLeague basket, before Vanja Marinkovic hit a triple to make it 24-17 after ten minutes. Jekiri’s dunk and John Brown’s tip-in re-established a double-digit lead, and Dmitrii Uzinskii added a three-pointer as UNICS continued to charge. John Brown scored inside again before Isaiah Canaan, Vorontsevich and Uzinskii added three-pointers to complete an 18-0 run for a 42-17 lead. Baldwin finally scored Baskonia’s first points of the second quarter after a drought of nearly seven minutes, but Vorontsevich and Canaan hit back with more triples, making it 48-19. Sedekerskis provided a rare Baskonia highlight with a powerful slam, helping make it 48-23 at half-time.
Baldwin and Vorontsevich both scored twice early in a slow-scoring start the second half, with the score fixed at 55-29 midway through the third. Baldwin and Costello reduced the deficit to less than 20 points, 57-38, before scores from Simone Fontecchio and Costello were answered by baskets from John and Lorenzo Brown to make it 66-44 after three quarters. Baldwin and Costello netted again for Baskonia early in the fourth, but Spissu struck a triple for UNICS to ensure there was no threat of a comeback. John Brown and Jekiri continued to have joy inside, before Sedekerskis scored twice and Costello hit a triple to make it 79-65. But baskets from Brantley and Mayo made sure there would be no UNICS nerves in the final minutes.
New club record for UNICS
Wednesday’s thumping victory over Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz saw UNICS Kazan make a piece of club history. The Russian team enjoyed its best-ever first half performance in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, taking a 25-point half-time lead with a 48-23 scoreline after an 18-0 second quarter run. The previous club record was 24 points, achieved against Asseco Prokom Gdynia in the 2011-2012 season (35-11 at half-time). The final winning margin of 14 points was the seventh biggest in UNICS’ EuroLeague history.
Big shooting improvement for UNICS
UNICS came into the game with the league’s worst two-point shooting percentage, with just 43.9% attempts converted. But that stat was turned around in the early stages of this encounter as the home side made 10 of its first 12 shots inside the arc, helping to establish a double-digit lead. UNICS finished with 60% of two-pointers made, 24-of-40. Baskonia, on the contrary, missed its first 7 two-pointers, with the Spanish team’s opening 12 points all coming from three-point range. Baskonia’s first two-pointer finally arrived inside the final two minutes of the first quarter from the hands of Wade Baldwin.
Perasovic downs old friend Ivanovic
It was a special occasion for the two head coaches, whose relationship extends back more than 30 years: Velimir Perasovic of UNICS and Dusko Ivanovic of Baskonia were teammates and helped Jugoplastika Split win back-to-back EuroLeague titles in 1989 and 1990. This was the fourth meeting in the EuroLeague during their long coaching careers, which includes five seasons for Perasovic at Baskonia over three separate spells. UNICS’ victory on Wednesday means the old friends are now tied at two wins apiece.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021