#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Before entering the field, the army team held master classes with young Norilsk basketball players, performing several exercises with them on the ability to handle the ball, move around the field and work in a team. And the athletes themselves warmed up a bit before the game during the training with the children.
In order to maintain a fair game, the army team drew lots right on the field – who would play in which team during the friendly match. It turned out to be equally divided by two CSKA players in each Norilsk team.
At the meeting, the rival teams took the names Nickel and Palladium and were headed Nikolay Utkin, Norilsk Nickel senior vice president, the Norilsk Division head, and Sergey Stepanov, Norilsk Nickel senior vice president, production director. The rest of the players were also recruited into the teams by lot, among them were the best basketball players in Norilsk – local tournaments winners, such as, for example, the team Remontnik from Norilsknickelremont company.
“Year by year, the close friendship between Norilsk Nickel and the CSKA basketball team is only getting stronger – the athletes are in Norilsk for the second time. It only says that our goals and aspirations are the same – I want the younger generation in Norilsk to adopt a more sporty lifestyle thanks to these matches. Meetings with the best CSKA players contribute to this”, said Nikolay Utkin, opening the friendly match.
According to the basketball players themselves, the first ten minutes of the game gave a little opportunity to get used to the teams that first entered the field in such a composition and were objectively not well-knit.
Thanks to the army team professional training, the game was built in the shortest possible time. Goals came one after another, including multi-point goals from a long distance, and personal ones, invented especially for the match from the points marked on the floor with the Polar Division branches emblems – NNR, ZTF and other corporate pictures.
For almost the entire game, Nickel and Palladium took turns winning back the leading positions, but at some point, Nickel was significantly behind by more than 12 points, and then the rivals not only got worried, but were forced to mobilize their efforts and skills. So, the players matched stride for stride, exchanging shots and adding one, two or three points to themselves in turn.
This balls exchange took on a special tension literally in the last 30 seconds of the game, when the score was equalized again, 109:109. By this time, for the sake of justice, CSKA players left the game and only the Norilsk players were on the field, but in the end, sports passion prevailed, it was necessary to determine the winner – and the army team again entered the field.
There were still 1.7 seconds left before the final whistle, which only professionals could really use to decide the outcome of the match. But this did not happen, and according to the golden classical rule, friendship won.
“Today we managed to show basketball from the best side, the stands were full, the Norilsk people came with their children, and we did not disappoint them. It was spectacular, sincere, fast – a real game. CSKA celebrated its 100th anniversary and continues to set a great example for its fans, winning for 20 years now”, said Sergey Stepanov, the Palladium team captain.
We also reported that the CSKA players were impressed by Nornickel’s giant machines and the Sulfur Program.
Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko