Ural Great of Perm is back smiling in the ULEB Cup after routing Jabones Pardo Fuenlabrada at home 117-89 in Group A on Wednesday. Both teams are now 1-1 in the standings, with the Russian champs taking revenge for a loss in Spain last week against DKV Joventut. The hero in Perm on Wednesday was forward Nikolai Khryapa, who roared off the bench to score 29 points in 25 minutes, making 9 of 10 shots from the field, including 4 three-pointers, and 7 of 8 from the foul line. Scoring was no problem for Ural as center Christ Anstey added 22 points inside and guard Vladimir Koubrakov 14 outside, including 4 triples. Overall, ural connected on 16 of 32 three-pointers (50%) and 23 of 33 two-pointers (69%). The hosts also dominated the rebounds, 25-18, with Khryapa getting 7 and Anstey 6. Fuenlabrada collapsed after a good start despite 18 points from Richard Scott, 16 from David Wood, 15 from Walter Herrmann and 13 from Francesc Solana.
The game did not start out looking like a blowout for the hosts. Fuenlabrada took a 0-10 lead in little more than 2 minutes and Ural Great scored its first basket a minute later. Thanks to Wood's outside shooting and Herrmann's fastbreaks, Fuenlabrada upped its lead to 5-13, but soon the game changed completely. Ural Great started playing aggressive defense, dominating on rebounds and exploiting the physical strength of players like Khryapa and Ed Shannon while coming back to 10-13. The last big basket for Fuenlabrada was a triple by Herrmann that made it 10-16, but now the game became a monologue for Ural Great's players. The first rush put the home team ahead 20-19, and Ural liked it so much, it didn't think of stopping. By halftime the lead would reach 18 points, 63-45, with 40 points scored in the second quarter, many of those by Khryapa, who was unstoppable, not missing a shot in his first 18 minutes on the floor.
The second half was more of the same, a long agony of the guests which had no solution to stop the scoring onslaught of the hosts. Ural head coach Sergei Belov permitted himself to rest those who contributed most to what was a safe lead at the end of the third period, 92-70. Khryapa and Shannon stayed on the floor to keep things under control, however, which did not turn out to be a problem. The Perm fans ended up getting what they came for, a sign that their new team was primed and ready to mount a big challenge in the ULEB Cup.
Tuesday, October 22, 2002