VTB United League. BC Khimki vs. Azovmash31 october 2010

Keith Langford’s 17 points helped BC Khimki win a difficult match against the champion of Ukraine BC Azovmash – 65-58 (12-12, 17-15, 13-14, 23-17). The next home game BC Khimki will hold within the bounds of a regular stage of Euroleague against Spanish Caja Laboral on Wednesday, November 3.

BC Khimki: Langford (17 + 5 rebounds + 4 assists), Eze (9 + 5 rebounds), Loncar (8 + 5 rebounds), Planinic (8 + 6 rebounds + 4 assists), Monya (6), Fridzon (6 + 7 rebounds), Panin (4), Zaytsev (4), Dmitriev (3).

In the Basketball Center of Moscow Region the opening ceremony of VTB United League took place. Although it was the second game within the bounds of the tournament, BC Khimki players in the season 2010/2011 went on the home floor for the first time (it will be recalled that the first match our team played in Kaunas against Zalgiris on October, 17).

Langford, Eze, Loncar, Planinic and Panin formed the starting lineup of BC Khimki. Ben Eze brought first points to our team, then he made a spectacular slam dunk. Vadim Panin demonstrated his activity – he was the best on the rebounding and steals. The hosts organized a quick lunge at the sixth minute and Planinic scored without any problems. After 3 minutes of an equal game – the score was still 6-6 – Scariolo took a time-out that cheered up his players – and Vadim Panin made a three-pointer. The first quarter ended with an equal score – 12-12.

The second quarter more successful started the hosts – Vitaly Fridzon brought 2 points, and Sergey Monya demonstrated his skill on rebounding. A stubborn struggle resulted in a large number of losses and fouls from both teams. However, the class is the class – in a protracted attack of the yellow-blue Zoran Planinic brought 3 points by a precise throw from beyond the arc. Fedor Dmitriev also made a three-pointer and the score became 20-13 in favour of BC Khimki. In the next attack Vyacheslav Zaytsev scored with a foul – bravo, Slava! Azovmash supporters tried to inspire their team but in vain. Keith Langford began to burn out on the floor, showing his wonderful individual skill. At the long break the team went with the score 29-27.

The second part of the match started with guests’ fouls at Langford and Loncar. Over two minutes the score remained the same, however, Azovmash went forward by a precise three-pointer – 30-29. From a short distance Planinic looked well – he made a two-pointer. Imperceptibly Azovmash got ahead – 38-36, and Sergio Scariolo demanded a timeout, during which the support group, together with the Hedgehog did not give the stands to feel bored. Vitaly Fridzon robbed the Azovmash player and equalized – 38-38, and Keith Langford put another three-pointer. The minimal advantage of the yellow-blue – 42-41.

The ending of the meeting opened with a precise throw from under the ring by Benjamin Eze. And now the score was changed after each attack of the rivals. After two branded three-pointers from Sergey Monya and a dunk from Slava Zaytsev BC Khimki took the lead – 52-47. Confident actions of the yellow-blue allowed them to make a significant advance of “+7” for a minute before the end of the meeting – Langford again was a hero of final episodes. The beep alerted the end of the match – 65-58. On November, 3 BC Khimki within the bounds of Euroleague will play with Spanish team Caja Laboral.

Sergio Scariolo, BC Khimki head coach:

– We played with a good team, that earlier was victorious over Polish Asseko Prokom, a Euroleague participant. After confidently held qualifications of Euroleague we showed not the best basketball. But we are still working and we should soon overcome this decline. Three days later we have a match with a team Caja Laboral: the opponent is very strong and we should hold a meeting at the highest level.

Sergei Zavalin, BC Azovmash head coach:

– Congratulations to BC Khimki with a victory. Against the Euroleague team we tried to look adequately. But a few moments did a bad turn with us. Firstly, the rebounding. BC Khimki made 11 rebounds on our board, due to this they attacked more. Plus, we were bad on three-pointers. Today the percentage was lower than usually.