Unics hang on and Jerusalem advance, Euroleague Qualifying round up

Unics Kazan were made to work hard for their 90-86 win over Polish side Stelmet Zielona Gora but have advanced to the last four of the Euroleague Qualifying Rounds.

The Russian side started off strongly and led 23-13 after the first period. A lead that they extended at half-time.

Zielona Gora though hit back in the second half and despite scoring 32 points in the final quarter were unable to reduce the deficit even more.

Former EA7 Milano players Curtis Jerrells and current Euroelague scoring champion Keith Langford led Kazan with 22 points each.

“It is normal at this time of the season we can sometimes lose our concentration during a game,” said Kazan coach Argiris Pedoulakis. “Our defense was not good during the second half. But we stayed calm, changed our line-up and eventually won the game. Are we going to be better tomorrow? I don’t know. The other game had a 20 point gap and ended also close. I can’t promise anything after a limited number of training sessions.”

Hapoel Jerusalem defeated CEZ Nymburk 94-84 in the other Euroleague Qualifier as Nymburk’s poor form in the qualifying round continues.

It was a reasonably comfortable win for the Israelis, who led for the majority of the contest.

Bracey Wright led the winners with 22 points.

“We are happy we could win our first game in Euroleague in 12 years,” Jerusalem coach Dany Franco said. “We played against a good and organized team with an excellent coach. But we were good on offense during the first half and picked up on the defense during the second half. We will be ready for a though game Thursday evening.”