The Russian national basketball team defeated Puerto Rico 75-66 in its opening game at the 2010 World Basketball Championship which kicked off in Turkey on Saturday.
"This was a very good game in a great environment. Both teams played well. Puerto Rico were very active," Russia's coach David Blatt was quoted as saying on the FIBA website.
"We found ways to win in the trenches. We have to keep fighting this way," he said, adding that the team did well even without its best player Viktor Khryapa who had to miss the game because of trauma.
Turkey's Anadolu Agency quoted Blatt as saying his team's main goal was to keep its rival below 70 points and it managed to achieve the goal.
"We won because we played as a real team, united. If we play together, we can win," said Russia's guard Anton Ponkrashov.
Puerto Rico's coach Manola Cintron was quoted on the FIBA website as saying his team's defense was strong, while offense left much to be desired.
"Russia shot well," he said.
On Sunday, Russia will play against Turkey who won 86-47 over Cote d'Ivoire in Saturday's Group C match. Puerto Rico will face Greece who defeated China 89-81. RIA Novosti