"We were making shots, we got to where we wanted to be offensively. They're a good team but we were firing on all cylinders."
That was the verdict of Melvin Ejim after his UNICS Kazan team won 82-100 on the road against Cedevita Zagreb on Wednesday night to take a big step towards qualification for the next stage. And he certainly wasn't wrong.
"Firing on all cylinders" is the most appropriate phrase to describe UNICS's offense, especially during a first-half blitz that yielded a remarkable 62 points – the most ever scored by the club in the EuroCup on the road, beating the previous high of 59.
By the end of the second quarter, UNICS had made an incredible 14 of 18 two-point shots (77.8%) and 8 of 11 from beyond the arc (72.7%) – or to put it another way, the team had attempted 29 field goals and only missed 7 of them. That potent scoring was achieved with a swagger through confident and swift ball movement which created great looks and the shooters made the most of their open positions by striking dagger after dagger.
That kind of pace could not be maintained after the break, but UNICS still finished with highly-respectable totals of 24-of-40 from two-point territory (60%) and 13-of-23 on triples (56.5%). The contribution of the three leading scorers was particularly impressive: between them, Ejim (18 points), Evgeny Kolesnikov (20 points) and Jamar Smith (16 points) went 21 of 28 from the field, including 9 of 12 from long range.
It was enough to give UNICS a second consecutive game in triple figures, following the previous week's 105-70 win over Cedevita. And with a spot in the last eight now very much within reach, there is plenty of confidence among the UNICS ranks that more big scoring nights are around the corner.