Avtodor Russia defeated Tsmoki-Minsk Belarus on the road, 85 -82 (26-15, 24-29, 18-17, 17-21).
Tsmoki-Minsk: Chris Czerapowicz (21 + 8 reb), Filip Adamovic (15), Devon Saddler (12), David Kravish (10 + 5 reb)
Avtodor: Coty Clarke (24 + 9 reb), Branden Frazier (16), Artem Klimenko (14 + 10 reb), Earvin Morris (13), Justin Robinson (11 + 5 ast)
Branden Frazier made Evgeny Pashutin’s VTB United League debut with Avtodor a memorable one, sinking a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team an 85-82 win in Minsk.
Tsmoki battled all evening, including a 10-4 run in the final two minutes to knot the score at 82-82, but it wasn’t enough as Avtodor picked up its 3rd win of the season.
The visitors jumped out to a 20-8 lead behind eight points from Coty Clarke. Leading by as much as 14 midway through the 2nd quarter, Avtodor saw its lead shrink to six at halftime.
Saratov scored the first eight points of the 3rd quarter, but Chris Czerapowicz, who finished with a team-high 21, stopped the bleeding with back-to-back triples. The visitors never led by more than seven the rest of the way.
After Justin Robinson gave the visitors a 78-72 lead with under three minutes to go, Minsk guard Filip Adamovic rallied his team down the stretch, very nearly forcing overtime.
He started with a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to three. Trailing by five with 52 seconds remaining, Adamovic connected again from deep to make it a two-point game.
On Tsmoki’s final possession, Adamovic fed an open Mikita Meshcharakou for the game-tying jumper, 82-82.
But Frazier would not be denied. Alone on the perimeter with the clock winding down, he drilled a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer to silence the crowd and help his team improve to 3-
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) November 19, 2017
42-26 – Avtodor enjoyed a big edge in points in the paint, outscoring the home team by 16.
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Alexander Krutikov:
– I want to thank the guys. We really played with heart in the second half. We showed toughness and got back into the game after a bad start. Our opponent led by more than 10 points three times and we came back three times. At the end, we had a chance to force overtime. Unfortunately, today was not our day.
Avtodor head coach Evgeny Pashutin:
– Congratulations to the team on our first win together. The guys showed toughness today. We know it’s very difficult to play in Minsk. Tsmoki had won a few in a row and we prepared seriously for the game. We lost Downs and Sheleketo to injuries, so we had to use a shorter rotation. But the guys pulled through and were able to get a win.
Tsmoki-Minsk: December 2 away vs. Lokomotiv-Kuban
Avtodor: December 2 home vs. Nizhny Novgorod