Unics Kazan topped Group O with a narrow 76-73 road victory over Valencia in the Last 32 of the Eurocup on Tuesday night.
The Russians, who have finished the group 5-1 will look forward to a clash in the eighthfinals with eith CEZ Nymburk or Maccabi Haifa, while Valencia, who ended Group O 3-3 and needed to beat Unics by 7 points or more to top the group will lock horns with favourites Khimki in what will be an interesting contest.
Andrew Goudelock, averaging 18 points a game in the Eurocup this season paced the winners with 25 points plus some key buckets late in the fourth to guide Kazan. No other player though managed double digits in the scoring column with Chuck Eidson and Ian Vougioukas getting 9 points each.
Bojan Dubljevic led the hosts with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but for them, it was in vein.
Unics got off to a flying start as they raced to a 23-9 lead on the back of a three-point play from Goudelock. It was the former Los Angeles Laker who connected again to give Kazan a 31-15 lead, as they looked to put the game away early.
Valencia hit back though late in the second quarter. Falling behind by 20 points early on, they narrowed the gap to 48-40 at half-time. Kazan looked a little on edge as they were missing shots both from deep and inside and with the crowd behidn them, Valencia looked confident going into the third quarter.
The Liga Endesa side’s confidence was there for all to see as they continued chipping away at Kazan’s advantage and a score in traffic by Pau Ribas tied the game at 61-61 going into the final quarter.
Unics though kept their noses in front as Valencia tried forcing overtime, knowing that they needed an extra session to beat them by more than the 7 points needed.