Russia have booked a slot in the quarter-finals of the European Basketball championships in Lithuania.
David Blatt’s men eased to victory against Finland for their sixth consecutive win at the tournament.
Andrey Kirilenko’s 14 points and Victor Khryapa’s 11 assists helped Russia to breeze to an easy 79-60 victory.
“This was a very important game for two reasons: first, because today we could guarantee a place in the last eight round; and secondly, we played to honor the legacy of the Yaroslavl ice hockey team,” Russian helmsman David Blatt told the Sport Express paper after the game.
“This is a tragedy not only for Russia, but for the whole world,” he stressed.
The perfect record guarantees them a place in the last eight as they are certain to finish among the top four teams that will advance from Group F.
Before the game, a curious quid pro quo took place at the arena in Vilnius. For some reason, the organizers several times confused the national anthems of the two countries. David Blatt, however, insisted that on such a day it is very important for the team and its fans that the anthem was played correctly. It took the organizers several minutes to make the necessary amendments.