Russia defeated Dominican Republic 84-69 at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas.
Both teams were already through to the quarter-finals as both sides beat Korea, but Russia finished on top thanks to this victory.
Andrei Kirilenko was outstanding for the Russians, securing a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds. The CSKA Moscow man added seven assists to his impressive statline. Khimki guard Vitaliy Fridzon matched his teammate points-wise, also grabbing 16.
Al Horford led the Dominican charge with 22.
The game was high-paced to start, both teams trying to break in transition. Russia led 23-18 after one.
The second period was more even, Horford managed to tie the game at 27-27 mid-way through the quarter as Russia’s shot selection left a lot to be desired and as a result, they gave up five easy points leading to that tie. David Blatt’s team though held on at the half to lead 44-38.
Russia then put their foot down in the third, as they noticed the Caribbean side were beginning to tire, they took advantage and had a 65-53 lead going into the fourth which they extended further in the final exchanges.
Friday’s quarter-finals are 50 percent complete, as Russia face Angola and FYR of Macedonia play Dominican Republic with the winners advancing to London in three weeks time. The loser will have to play two extra games and win them to book a place at the Olympics.