Khimki Moscow Region is set to start its eighth season — and fourth in a row — in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Last season, Khimki was in the playoffs zone when the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reaching that stage will remain its initial goal in 2021. Khimki has only made it to the EuroLeague Playoffs once, in 2018, and will be more motivated than ever, with the same core of players, to get there again.
Round 10: Efes finally visits
This will be a special game for both teams since Khimki was unable to host Anadolu Efes Istanbul last season. Two years ago, Efes managed to steal a last-second win in Khimki, 84-85, on a spectacular game-winning three-point shot by Dogus Balbay. These teams retain a similar core of players and that game will be in the back of everyone's mind. Expect a run-and-gun showdown on November 19 as Khimki and Efes are at their best when they push the tempo.
Round 12: Warm welcomes in Munich
Khimki visits FC Bayern Munich on December 4. It will be a special game for Stefan Jovic, who will return to Audi Dome for the first time since joining Khimki; he missed last season's showdown due to injury. Another Khimki player, center Devin Booker, played in Munich for three years. On the other hand, Petteri Koponen of Bayern helped Khimki win the 7DAYS EuroCup title in 2015. Expect a nice pre-game and a great basketball battle.
Round 16: EuroCup rivalry renewed in Valencia
It is still the most-played rivalry in EuroCup history. Khimki and Valencia Basket faced each other 11 times in EuroCup action, often in the latter stages. Khimki beat Valencia in the 2012 Championship Game, 77-68, as well as in the 2009 and 2015 quarterfinals. Valencia downed Khimki in the 2017 quarterfinals. Last season, Valencia beat Khimki twice in the EuroLeague. The next chapter in this healthy rivalry, full of mutual respect, is on December 23.
Round 26: Shved's favorite court?
Since joining Khimki, Alexey Shved has played some of the best games of his career at Mediolanum Forum. In the 2017-18 season, Shved had 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting and a PIR of 35 to lead Khimki to a 71-77 road win. A year later, Shved had a double-double (19 points, 10 assists) and last season he scored 18 points and helped Khimki win again in Milan, 69-78. Will we see another basketball exhibition against a stronger, more physical team this season?
Round 33: the Leningradka Derby
It could be a key game for Khimki in its fight to reach the playoffs. CSKA Moscow and Khimki face each other at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital. It is always a spectacular game, full of intensity and drama. This time, CSKA is the defending champion, Khimki looks stronger than ever and the game is dangerously close to the end of the regular season, on April 2. As in every derby around the EuroLeague, expect the unexpected!