After the defeat from the Czech Republic, the Russians were on the brink of collapse. By and large, the fate of the third tour in this group will still largely depend on two personal meetings between Russia and Finland, but if earlier our team had the advantage of at least one match, now it is not. Yes, and Bulgaria, unexpectedly defeating France, in full voice, announced its intention to play at the World Cup in a year. In general, the crib once again messed up the legs, handles, cervical and heel. And for the Russian team this promises little good.
In order to not approach the November-December "window" in the status of right-to-error-and-so-no-was-now-no-more, Bulgaria needed to be beaten. If at this stage of selection it is generally possible to talk about the convenience of an opponent, then it was clearly more comfortable for the Bulgarians against our team than against the Czechs. At least because the latter built their game from "paint", and the first – outside it. Of course, Alexandra Vezenkova nobody canceled, but the newcomer "Khimki" Di Bost recently shifted his emphasis to himself.
Before the match against Russia could say two factors. First, Bazarevich noted that his team had to conduct a home match after two flights, while Bulgaria – after one. The second factor could be courage, which the team Lyubomira Mincheva caught in the victorious game with France. However, Russia had its own trump card: home parquet. The hall in Khimki is well known to all players of our team, and for Alexey Shved he is at home.
They drove an opponent into the "paint". What happened in the game with the Czech Republic?
Trying to prove that everything is not so bad.
The tactics of the Russian team were understandable. Since Bulgaria – a fundamentally different rival than the Czech Republic, it could be played with regular penetration into the "paint" due to a more mobile front-kort. That's why, according to Bazarevich, did not play Artyom Klimenko, who turned his ankle in training, but still could hardly benefit against often throwing the fourth and fifth numbers of the enemy.
Our team made a double-digit break in the first quarter, almost only on one run in the three-second zone. There were many options. Sometimes the player with the ball was isolated, and he simply bypassed the defender at speed; often they were standard "dvoychki" at a discount to the opening Balashov or Ivlev. It used to happen that the "dvoechka" was played without the ball, after which the player, freed from guardianship, ran into the ring and received the transfer, without problems, hammering from above. After all these variations, the moments usually ended with either two points or a foul.
Penetration of the inside and subsequent finishing, including helped our team to dominate the selection. Only Vesenkoff could resist Bulgaria there, and his efforts were not expected to be enough. Thanks to the aggression within the three-second zone, the team Sergey Bazarevich for the first quarter took as many rebounds as the opponents – for polmatcha, and the most pleasant thing is that for the whole meeting I took 15 bounces on someone else's shield and scored as many points of the second chance.
The Bulgarians regularly answered. A lot of errors in the defense, they compensated for by rapid attacks, which rushed almost always. Command Lyubomira Mincheva shot 7: 2 at the beginning of the first quarter, 8: 2 at the beginning of the second, 9: 0 at the end of the third. This helped the guests not to let the Russians go far and always breathe them in the back. Up to the last minute.
Three-pointer Pavel Marinova for 54 seconds before the end, forced Bazarevich to demand a time-out at "+2" for the Russian team. Balashov earned a foul on himself and realized only one penalty out of two, but Di Bost used his approach to the line not completely – the "Khimki" hall is unlikely to ever once whistle to the same newcomer. Swede Bulgaria has not forgiven.
After the game Sergey Bazarevich said that he was pleased with the result, but not with the quality of the game. "Maybe I was too nervous, maybe the significance of the game affected. We made mistakes not because of lack of concentration, but most importantly, that we won. Let's try to draw conclusions, "said the national team coach.
Russia won the first victory in the second round of the selection for the World Cup. Next time we will see the national team in the guest game against Finland on November 30th. This will be one of the most important meetings for Russians at all the selection.