17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
20 Andrey Vorontsevich (RUS)
Game Report
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Russia roll past North Macedonia for EuroBasket 2022 ticket

 PERM (Russia) - Russia locked up their spot at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 as they took advantage of a fatigued North Macedonia in rolling to a 94-77 victory on their home court.

The 2007 European champions Russia were hosting the Group B games and had fans in the stands in Perm to urge them on. That support gave Russia another boost as they were facing a MKD team that had faced Italy a day before.

Turning point: North Macedonia stayed close for about 12 minutes and then Russia went on a 15-4 surge to build an 18-point cushion 47-29. North Macedonia twice managed to trim the gap to 14 points but Russia just had too many weapons and never were threatened the rest of the way.

Game hero: Joel Bolomboy set the tone early with his power for Russia with 11 points in the first quarter. He actually did not score in the second quarter but then scored six points in the third period to extend the cushion to 23 points and ended as Russia’s top scorer with 19 points to go with 3 rebounds. 

Stats don't lie: Russia used their fresh legs to dominate the glass with a 45-21 advantage, including 18 offensive rebounds. Sergey Bazarevich's men actually grabbed more rebounds at that end than North Macedonia, who only had 16 defensive rebounds. And Russia used those extra possessions for 24 second-chance points compared to five for North Macedonia. 

Bottom line: While Russia have locked up their ticket to next summer's spectacle with a 3-2 record in Group B, North Macedonia are now 0-4 and face a massive uphill battle to get back to the continental tournament. With their main rivals Estonia surprising Italy earlier on the court in Perm, North Macedonia will need to rest up on Saturday and then find the strength to knock off Italy and Estonia in back-to-back days on Sunday and Monday - and even that might not be enough for Aleksandar Todorov's team.

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