If another clear and important win in the ULEB Cup was what fans in Perm were asking of Ural Great, they got the required answer on Tuesday in the form of a solid 96-84 victory against visiting Telekom Baskets Bonn of Germany. The victory evened Ural's record in Group A at 2-2, while Bonn sank to 1-3. Ural Great got big numbers from guard Valentin Koubrakov, who scored a floor-high 25 points. Eddie Shannon followed with 21, while guard Gintaras Kadziulis 18, his high for the season, and center Chris Anstey was a force inside again with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Telekom Bonn never really gave up, but had to watch Ural from behind all the game despite good scoring distribution that saw five players reach double figures. Brad Traina led German team with 17 points, followed by guard Terrence Rencher (15), guard Brian Brown (14), center Peter Huber-Saffer (12) and forward Aleksandar Nadjfeji (11).
Ural Great took the first important lead at the end of the first quarter. Every player of the starting five contributed by the time the hosts took a 24-18 advantage after 7 minutes. Shannon had 7 points in the quarter as Koubrakov went about drawing 3 of the 8 fouls called against Bonn. Bonn stayed into the game thanks to Huber-Saffer, who scored 8 quick points shooting 4-for-4, but the visitors were still behind 28-20 after 10 minutes. The hosts tried to deepen the lead, running ahead by 13 going into the final minute of the half, as Shannon was making the offense go. But Bonn resisted thanks to Huber-Saffer and Rencher's 9 points in the quarter. With an important 0-5 mini-run at the end, the Germans cut the halftime score to 49-41, the same margin as after one quarter.
After intermission, Ural tried to deliver another heavy blow to guests, pushing the lead in the middle of the third period to 14 points, 62-48, as Koubrakov kept hitting his shots. Bonn again responded with a 0-5 run as Alek Radojevic and Traina hit baskets that knocked the deficit down to a single digit again, 62-53. Ural used Anstey's intimidation in the paint, where he blocked 4 shots in first 30 minutes, to push the tempo and reach its highest lead of the game, 71-55, on the Australian center's layup, though Bonn reduced it 73-61 as the third quarter ended. Bonn tried desperately to come back, but Ural had already taken control, so when Traina's layup got the Germans back within 9, only a minute was left. The big Perm crowd had the win it was looking for.
Tuesday, November 5, 2002