Ural Great of Perm, Russia have become the first team to win two games in the Euroleague by ralling for a 79-84 road win at Oostende of Belgium in a rare Tuesday night game. The Group D clash could not have been closer: they were tied at the half, one point apart after three quarters, and neither team led by more than five point during most of the game. Oostende seemed to take the upper hand at 73-69 early in the fourth quarter, but Perm's defense decided things with a 6-15 finishing run for the visitors. The reigning Russian champions are now 2-0 while Oostende falls to 0-2 in the group standings.
The game started with a half-hour delay due to a problem with the 24-second shot clock, meaning Perm had to look backwards to see how much time was left for its possession. That problem, combined with zone defense of Ostende, maybe explained the shy start of the Russians. Ostende was just the opposite, scoring on 5 or its first 6 shots for a 12-6 lead after 4 minutes. Mikhailov took up the responsibility for Perm. His 3-for-3 shooting inside woke up his teammates and pushed Perm to an 18-18 tie. Eric Elliott was then replaced at the point for Oostend by young Gerrit Major, who raised the rythmn of his team and Virgilius Praskevicius took advantage with 10 points. But Perm was still very precise, too, especially Karassev, who also had 10 points. As such, the game remained balanced, with Oostende holding a 29-25. at the end of first quarter.
The Karassev-Mikhailov duo did great job for Perm starting the second quarter. But Praskevicius was really unstoppable for Oostende: When he didn't manage to score, he provoked fouls, including a third one on Ruslan Avleev. The teams returned to a tie at 32-32, Major was again brought on, and Oostende, which was most efficient inside, not only recovered the lead, but pushed it to 44-39 after three incursions by Biggs. But just then, it was Praskevicius committing his third foul and opening a window for Mikhailov to bring back Perm in time to tie it again, 46-46, at the half. By that time, the Russian center was up to 16 points to lead all scorers, while Karassev had 12. For Oostende, Praskevicius was on 13 and Biggs 10.
After halftime, Perm came back with a stronger defense and an impressive Rytis Vaisvila, who scored 5 points as the visitors staked a 51-55 lead. Elliott, who committed his fourth turnover, was not exactly helping Oostend. The guard position definitely became the main problem of Oostende as Major was immediately eliminated on fouls when he replaced Elliott. The score stood at 56-57. Perm now seemed to dominate as Oostende found it more and more difficultto score. The hosts trailed 58-63 after 28 minutes. Oostende needed new blood and Teo Cizmic responded, scoring his first 3 points. At the same time, Praskevicius took his fourth foul, as did Mikhailov for Perm. Christophe Beghin, the replacement for Praskevicius, put up six points to help Oostend rally to within 66-67 heading into the final quarter.
The final quarter brought even more contributors to the fore. Andrius Giedraitis, improving by the game for Oostende, proves so with the first basket of the quarter, raising his point total to 16. That, however, coincided with Praskevicius fouling out and Cizmik taking up his inside responsabilities. Cizmik not only offset the growing influence of Valeri Daineko, but put his team up 73-69. Perm would respond, however, and retake the lead 77-79 with 2 minutes to play, as Karassev fouled out. Perm got all the breaks after that, forcing Giedraitis into a turnover and pulling two big offensive rebounds. Ostende had no choice than to foul and Vaisivila and Avleev gave the victory to the visitors.
Tuesday, October 16, 2001