The tournament in the memory of Vladimir Kondrashin and Alexander Belov started off. In the first match BC Khimki played against Polish team – Prokom. Yellow-blue won — 87-84 (19-24, 20-22, 23-14, 25-24) and made the final.
Top scorers: Lampe (19), Ewing (18), McCarty (11+11 rebounds), Rannkko (11+5 rebounds), Wilkinson (9+8 rebounds+3 assists).
The staring line was: Ewing, Ponkrashov, McCarty, Veremeenko, Lampe. The audience gave an ovation to Morgunov, Veremeenko, Ponkrashov and Kemzura. The fans in Saint-Petersburg didn’t forget them.
From the first minutes Sopot tried to attack beyond the basket. Khimki players were obliged to foul. Kemzura called a minute. The play in the defense took a turn for the better. Yellow-blue tried to attack beyond the arc, but not successful. For a long time the lead in favor of Prokom was 2 points.
After the long break the situation changed. Lampe and Ewing played aggressive. Anton Ponkrashov worked a miracle, the long jumper and BC Khimki took the lead — 62-60. And then was the turn of Rannikko to amaze spectators and opponents. He scored three 3-pointers in a row. And now Polish players are taken aback and started to miss: 78-72.
McCarty and Ewing pleased the fans by the good combinations and throws.
The final score is 87-84.
Kestutis Kemzura, the BC Khimki head coach:
— We are happy to win. But this victory came not easy to us. The team was aggregated not long time ago. But all teams are confronted with such problems.
In the first half of time we have problems with the defense. After the break the work was well in hand and we won the third period 23-14. It was the decisive moment in the match.
We are happy by the fact that we will play in the final. But I am sure tomorrow we can lay it on.
Teemu Rannikko, the BC Khimki guard:
— In the first half of the game we played bad in the defense. But we have time to come together. Today we were stronger. In second half of match I succeeded in scoring three points. Three-pointers are my favorite element in basketball. This Cup is very important. Our coach always disposes us to the victory.