Russia eased past Korea 91-56 in the opening Group C game of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas.
Shooting 60% from the floor was a personal highlight for coach David Blatt but despite victory, the Russians were nowhere near their best, as they committed needless turnovers throughout but still had little trouble disposing of the inexperinced Korean side who did show some promise but couldn’t keep it up for the full fourty minutes.
Russia were led by Andrei Kirilenko who hit 16 points with 14 of them coming in the first half. He sat for large periods of the second half. Sergey Monia played the support act as he hit 14.
Korea, who now face an uphill battle to the reach the quarter-finals were fronted by Eric Sandrin, who scored 15 points, the only player in double-figures for the Asians.
The first quarter set the tone for the game with Russia leading 27-16 thanks to aggressive attacking to the rim, as Korea were powerless to stop their much bigger opponents.
Turnovers crept up for both teams as they began the second quarter in a sloppy fashion, coach Blatt began to frequently sub players in and out as Russia held a 45-26 lead at half-time.
The turnovers and sloppy passing continued in the third as both teams couldn’t find a rhythm but going into the fourth quarter, Russia had a commanding 67-42 lead headed to the fourth period which they easily defended in the last ten minutes.