ULEB Cup. BC Khimki is only leader in Group D 8 january 2008

Khimki Moscow gained a hard-fought 67-72 victory on the road in their quest for the first place in Group D as they downed the winless Deutsche Bank Skyliners in Ballsporthalle, Frankfurt on Tuesday. When Pamesa lost on the road in Wloclawek 70-77 Khimki become the only leader in Group D. Top scorers: McCarty (18), Wilkinson (10).

Neither team managed to set itself apart until the last quarter, when Khimki (7-1)showed more concentration while the Skyliners had several players in major foul trouble. Kelly McCarty led a collective team effort by Khimki with 18 points and Mike Wilkinson joined him as the only other double-digit scorer with 10 points for his team. The Skyliners won the rebounding battle 43-25 but this effort was futile as they went just 3 for 20 from behind the arc. Derrick Allen led everybody with 31 points and 11 rebounds, while Jimmy McKinney added 13 points.

Both teams started hot, converting most of their possessions, not hesitating to play at a quick pace to a 10-11 score. When the defenses intensified, Frankfurt went on a 6-0 run that prompted Khimki head coach Kestutis Kemzura to take the first timeout but it didn't prevent Frankfurt from staying ahead 21-15 after 10 minutes. The second quarter continued on a defensive note as the home team maintained a slim margin, but head coach Murat Didin took a timeout after a three-pointer by Anton Ponkrashov pulled Khimki within 3 points at 26-23. The lackluster offensive performance of both teams continued as Khimki seized the lead by 30-31 late in the quarter before the half ended with a 33-33 tie. The third quarter featured a better star for Khimki but the Skyliners hung tough and held a 41-40 lead on Allen’s jump shot. From then on, however, Khimki stayed a step ahead as Macej Lampe as well as Vitaly Fridzon managed to hit important three-pointers to put their team up 50-53 after 30 minutes. Ponkrashov assisted Wilkinson for yet another three-pointer to start the last quarter but both teams struggled to score for the next 2 minutes, until Frankfurt's Dominique Bahiense de Mello drove for a layup. Lampe and McCarty scored consecutive baskets to push Khimki's lead to 8 points, 54-62 with 5 minutes left to. This proved to be enough for the visitors to score yet another victory as both teams were trading baskets the rest of the way.

Georg Chernyak, Frankfurt
from ULEBCup.com