Svi Mykhailiuk Stars for Ukraine in Upset Over Spain

Svi Mykhailiuk hadn’t played for the Ukrainian National Team in four years, but now his home country won’t want to go another day without him.

The rookie Laker was brilliant in Ukraine’s stunning 76-65 victory over previously unbeaten Spain, racking up 22 points, five 3-pointers, five steals and three assists to score a crucial win in qualification for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Most of Mykhailiuk’s damage came from his trademark 3-point shooting, as the Cherasky native hit more than half of his nine attempts from deep.

But as Myhkhailiuk showed during the NBA summer league, he is more than just a shooter.

The 21-year-old was excellent defensively, containing his man on the ball and hunting down five steals.

On the other end, he showed a bit of his ball handling and playmaking abilities. In particular, he had a nice feed to Hawks center Alex Len out of a pick-and-roll, plus a Lonzo Ball-esque full-court assist at the end of the game.

He splashed an assortment of triples, hitting a couple off screens, another pair while spotting up and one ridiculous trey off his own dribble.

Mykhailiuk last played for his home country during the 2014 FIBA World Cup, receiving sparing minutes back when he was only 17 years old. This time, he played a key role in potentially bringing Ukraine back to that stage.

Spain kept the game close before Ukraine took control in the final frame. Mykhailiuk had eight points, two assists and a block in a fourth quarter that saw his team outscore its opponent, 20-12.

Mykhailiuk finished with twice as many points as his closest teammate, lifting the home team’s offense in the victory over a Spanish side that entered Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev, with a sparkling 6-0 record.