Keith Langford and Thomas Kelati, scored by 19 points each, predetermined the victory of our team in an out match with Le Mans – 70-56 (16-12, 16-18, 17-8, 21-18). The return game will be held on October, 8 at 19.00 in Basketball Centre of Moscow Region.
BC Khimki: Langford (19 + 3 assists), Kelati (19 + 3 assists), Planinic (14 + 5 rebounds + 3 assists), Monya (6), Eze (5 + 3 block shots), Savrasenko (4), Panin (3).
Because of the unusual color of Le Mans (orange-gray), the judges and BC Khimki players had to abandon their traditional kits. Our team played in the unfamiliar green kits, which was declared in Euroleague as a backup.
For the final round of qualification Benjamin Eze and Zoran Planinic recovered after minor injuries. In the starting lineup Langford, Kelati and Monya joined them.
Zoran Planinic brought first points to Khimki by a throw from under the hoop. A beautiful combination was played by Kelati and Langford: Thomas gave a precise pass under the hoop into the hands of Keith, run out from behind the French, and the intermediate total became 7-2. However, Keith managed to foul twice and by the Coach’s decision he was to sit on the bench. The result of the first quarter is 16-12 in favour of BC Khimki.
At the start of the second quarter Le Mans was trying to overtake the rival, but in time it was stopped by "the bomb" of Kelati, 28-22. The French’s coach Jackson immediately requested a timeout. Arena Antarès was filled almost completely, and the stands began to bear up their players. The first half of the game ended with a slight advantage of Russian team, 32-30.
After the break the French couldn’t pass under our hoop: in front of them Ben Eze has grown like a wall. Benjamin put block shots, or just made the opponent be mistaken, and Kelati in the attack demonstrated his shooter talent. The advantage of Khimki has grown from two to ten points. Close by the end of the third quarter the atmosphere within the stands was opressive – 47-34.
In the last quarter Khimki continued to increase the lead. Langford was active in every way seeking to rehabilitate himself for not very successful start of the meeting. He brought to our team 7 points in 4 minutes, the advantage "+17". The final beep… and our congratulations to a wonderful victory of BC Khimki.
The continuation of the final series will be on Friday, in the basketball center of Moscow Region at 19.00 Moscow time.