It seemed that after the "black Tuesday" in Dnepropetrovsk, Budivelnik’s fate was predicted even before the return game in Khimki. The "builders" (the name of a Ukrainian club is translated precisely as “builders”) have competently "built" their game. But the yellow-blue were more self-disciplined and acted confidently in defense – 74-67 (21-18, 14-21, 19-14, 20-14). The first game of the third Qualifying round, with Le Mans Sarthe Basket, will be held in France.
BC Khimki best scorers: Langford (14), Loncar (11), Savrasenko (11), Kelati (11 + 4 assists), Monya (10 + 6 rebounds).
On the eve of the match it was reported that Benjamin Eze and Zoran Planinic had been injured. So Aleksey Savrasenko took place in a starting lineup. The position of a point guard was alternately "closed" by Langford, Zaytsev, and Lopez, who managed to recover.
A company of Lopez, Savrasenko, Monya, Langford and Kelati was the starting lineup of BC Khimki. First points from the three-point arc Sergey Monya brought to our team. The home team seemed preferable, and as a result – a spurt "+7". Having got two fouls, Savrasenko went to have a rest, instead of him Kresimir Loncar appeared at the pitch.
However, by that time the "builders" have recovered from the seed of excitement and reduced the gap to "-2". Toward the end of a quarter miracles of individual skills the yellow-blue fans observed in the performance of Keith Langford – his individual passages evoked applause from the stands. 21-18 in favour of BC Khimki before the start of the second quarter.
In a pre-match interview Sergio Scariolo said that he would give time to all his players. And so it has happened. In the second quarter Vadim Panin entered the game, and Vyacheslav Zaytsev came as the first number. Due to precise implementation of three-point shots, the guests took the lead 23-26. Scariolo felt something wrong and took a timeout.
BC Khimki captain Vitaly Fridzon along with his partner of Russian national team Sergey Monya were in a good form and brought most of the team points earned in the second quarter. To the break the teams went with the score 35-39.
The Euroleague's director of referees Costas Rigas was at the stands that day.
– I like your team. Today, the Russians have a difficult match: it is very difficult after a major victory to play a return game. Last year Khimki recommended itself well, having reached Euroleague’s TOP-16 and, no doubt, showing such a game now, you deserve a place in the main grid.
The start of the third quarter was preceded by a nice ceremony – congratulations to our friends and colleagues, the staff of Basketball Centre with the fifth anniversary of the palace! A commemorative gift from the BC Khimki General Director Victor Bychkov was presented to the General Director of Basketball Centre Oleg Tikhenko.
After a break the yellow-blue’s leader Keith Langford showed a good interaction with Lopez and Kelati. As a result – the Scariolo’s squad managed to pull ahead by one point – 54-53.
The guests were definitely not going to give up, and to the final part of the match they came up with the martial mood. After all BC Khimki’s superiority has prevailed over Budivelnik: thanks to the efforts of Monya, Langford and Kelati the yellow-blue, having organized a nine-point spurt, won the game 74-67.
P.S. French team Le Mans Sarthe Basket in the last match of the second round of Euroleague qualification wad defeated by ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne – 63-71. However, by the sum of two meetings the players of Le Mans went forward and on Tuesday, October 5 in France, and on Friday, October 8, they will play with BC Khimki.