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The Second Round of ISBL Cup Started in Tbilisi. MSAPE and GTU Achieved Victories, but Everything is Still Ahead

The fourth year in a row, ISBL comes to the hospitable capital of Georgia. Basketball is one of the most favorite sports here and the hosts do everything (and even more) for the guest to feel comfortable and come again.

The first tournament day started with the game between MSAPE with Gleb Stanislavchik, recovered after trauma, and Azerbaijani National Junior Team. The difference in physical and tactical skills of the teams was noticeable from the very first moments of the game. The young players of Azerbaijani National Junior Team were not ready for the contest with the physically tough team from Malakhovka.

A margin score 10:0 in the first quarter of the game and total dominance of the Russian team allowed Anatoly Laptev to engage all players of the team; each of them brought additional points.

The final score 84:26 was just a warmup for a two-time champion. The real battles will be against GTU and UrFU. They are going to be serious.

After the first match, the arena was packed with spectators. Sure, GTU games here gather not hundreds, but thousands of basketball fans. Opening of the round with a traditional dance performance put a bright mark after the words of the President of Georgian Basketball Federation Mikhail Gabrichidze and the Executive Director of ISBL Viktor Kravchenko.

The Uralians and Georgians created a real basketball festival for all spectators. Emotions were running high; the players managed to make unbelievable slam dunks; all players were doing their best in defense – every reason why fans love basketball so much. Until the last moment, it wasn’t clear who would get the first and so strategically important victory. At one crucial moment, GTU had two successful outside shots, while the tactical fouls of the players from Ekaterinburg did not bring any dividends: score 75:69. The hosts were not very welcoming this time.

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