VTB United League
Khimki Moscow Region defeated Enisey Krasnoyarsk on the road, 89-84 (28-21, 21-29, 8-18, 32-16).
Enisey: Suleiman Braimoh (16 + 9 reb), Denis Zakharov (15 + 5 ast), Martins Meiers (14 + 8 reb)
Khimki: Andrey Zubkov (27), Charles Jenkins (19), Viacheslav Zaitcev (18 + 6 reb)
Enisey’s injury-riddled campaign came to a merciful end on Saturday afternoon as the Siberians fell 89-84 to Khimki.
Andrey Zubkov scored 27 for the short-handed visitors, who traveled to Krasnoyarsk without most of their key contributors, including Anthony Gill, Alexey Shved, Stefan Markovic and Thomas Robinson.
Enisey was playing for pride, hoping to avoid a last-place finish by notching its 7th win of the season. Khimki had a chance to move into 5th place with a victory and an Avtodor setback in Kazakhstan.
The two teams took turns on offense in the first half. Khimki raced to a 28-21 advantage in the 1st quarter behind six 3-pointers, before Enisey returned the favor with a 29-21 advantage in the 2nd, sneaking into halftime with a one-point lead, 50-49.
Krasnoyarsk picked up where it left off in the 3rd quarter, this time using defense to lead by as much as 15 midway through the period. Khimki only managed to score eight points in the quarter and trailed 68-57 entering the 4th.
Khimki lit up the perimeter to open the 4th quarter, knocking down four 3-pointers to jump in front, 77-72.
Enisey battled back, piecing together a 12-3 run to lead 84-80 with a minute and a half remaining in the game.
But the home team would not score again. Enisey committed two turnovers and missed its final three shots, allowing Khimki to close the game on a decisive 9-0 run. The final five points of the game came via the free-throw line, as the visitors squeaked out a five-point win.
As a result, Khimki finishes the season with a 13-11 record and will advance to play Lokomotiv-Kuban in the first round of the playoffs.
Enisey ends up with a 6-18 record, tied for last place with Kalev. The Siberians made the playoffs last season with a 13-11 record, but were unable to overcome several free-agent departures and a litany of injuries during the 2017-18 campaign.
12-25 (48%) – Khimki’s excellent three-point shooting was a key factor in the game.
Enisey head coach Oleg Okulov:
– Congratulations to Khimki on a good game. Good luck to them in the playoffs. I also want to thank Enisey’s fans for the support this season.
Khimki head coach Georgios Bartzokas:
– First of all, I want to thank our team and congratulate them on a win in a tough game. We’ve gone through a grueling season in the EuroLeague, the best in club history. After a demanding series with CSKA in the quarterfinals we did not have enough time to recover. Half of our roster has had to play through pain and injuries in recent games. As a result, obviously you can see we don’t even have seven players available for a game. We made the decision to add several promising young players to the roster. The VTB United League playoffs won’t be easy for us, but we have lofty ambitions, so we need to do everything we can now to get our players ready and enter the quarterfinal series at full strength.
Enisey: Season complete (13th place, 6-18)
Khimki: Season complete (6th place, 13-11)