In the first round of VTB United League BC Khimki played on the road with Kaunas Zalgiris. The game proved to be hard, but in the end the yellow-blue lost – 69-75 (17-16, 18-21, 16-14, 18-24). The next match our team will hold within the bounds of Euroleague on October, 20 in Moscow. The rival is Polish Asseco Prokom Gdynia. The meeting will start at 20.00 Moscow time.
Best scorers: Fridzon (19 + 6 rebounds), Langford (17), Eze (9), Planinic (9).
Only 11 BC Khimki players took part in the game: Thomas Kelati had been injured. Also the appearance of Zoran Planinic on the court was up in the air. But Croat went to the floor, though not from the very beginning of the match. The starting lineup of BC Khimki was the following: Lopez, Langford, Fridzon, Loncar and Eze.
Langford brought first two points to our team. Then the rivals began to shoot from behind the three-point arc. In the middle of the first quarter Planinic scored 5 points and led Khimki ahead — 14-11. But Zalgiris did not give off: Delininkaitis scored from a distance, and Jankunas worked well in defence. The stands began to explode, requiring their favourites to take the initiative in their hands immediately, but Sergey Monya by a throw from an average distance stopped the opponent’s fervour. The quarter ended with the score 17-16 in favour of BC Khimki.
The second quarter Zalgiris started more actively and as a result led the score. Scariolo immediately stopped the game for a "progress review". Planinic was restless – one after another, he got two fouls. And the Lithuanians continued to shoot from behind the three-point arc. However, BC Khimki players were not far behind in this component. After an exchange of three-point throws from Planinic and Pocius (the main striker of Zalgiris in this match) the score proved to be 30-32. The game was equal, but the long break beep told us that the third quarter the yellow-blue would start with the lag of 2 points – 35-37.
First three minutes of the third quarter passed without result, and only in the second half Fridzon opened the scoring. Then Langford made the scoreboard light his name – 3 points and 40-37. But the score again became equal – 44-44. Our team was not successful in long throws, and even with free throws luck turned away from BC Khimki. But Langford exploded: he made two successful passes and set point in the quarter, which ended in a draw 51-51.
An equal game continued in the last quarter. Both teams showed chaotic basketball with many mistakes and losses of ball. Within four with a half minutes to the end of the match BC Khimki led the score “+1”. But our team did not succeed in the end of the meeting – neither free throws nor three-pointer field throws were good. Over the past three and a half minutes the yellow-blue could not throw the ball into the opponent's basket. During this time, Zalgiris took the lead of 6 points, and the task turned to be extremely difficult. In the last seconds Fridzon still scored a three-pointer, but, but, but…
The final beep notified the score — 75-69. Unfortunately, not in our favour.