|03 September 2011|
Turning Point: Russia built a double-digit lead midway through the third quarter, but it was back-to-back three-pointers by Andrey Vorontsevich in the 29th minute that made it clear Russia wouldn't let Belgium back in the game. From there the gap increased and crossed the 20-point barrier in the final frame
Game Hero: Vorontsevich who scored 17 points wasn't the top scorer for Russia but he got all of his points in the first three periods when the game was still close and tough.
Stats Don't Lie: Russia hit 11 three-pointers on 55% from the field over the entire game, while Belgium knocked down just six and shot a meagre 30%.
Russia on Saturday marched into the Qualifying Round of EuroBasket 2011 following a 79-58 victory over Belgium in Group D in Klaipeda.
Russia stayed perfect with their third win in as many games for a 3-0 record that ties them with Slovenia at the top of the group.
Belgium dropped their third game and are the last team in the group to remain without a win yet.
Vitaliy Fridzon had 22 points and hit five of six three-pointers, while Andrey Vorontsevich added 17 points, all of them coming in the first three quarters, including a three for three effort from long range.
Marcus Faison was Belgium's only player to reach double-digits in scoring with 14 points.
It was a much tougher battle than the final score indicates as Belgium put up a great fight for three quarters before Russia took off.
"All the teams in the group can play good and tough, and that's what Belgium did for three quarters," said Viktor Khryapa.
"We have more talent at the end of the day so once we stepped up we managed to get this win and qualify to the next stage."
An 11-0 run in the first quarter put Russia above 21-12 but Belgium wasn't about to give up.
Faison from outside and Ilunga Mbenga from the inside showed Belgium have a big heart and pulled Russia closer to them.
Yet Russia had more fire power in their bag and Vorontsevich showed his lethal hand from the arc with two three pointers in a row that pushed the gap to 13 close to the third buzzer.
Belgium could not come back from a double-digit deficit and Russia used the final frame to push the gap to as much as 22.
On Sunday, Russia will take on Bulgaria while Belgium will seek their first win against the unbeaten Slovenia.