Euroleague. Qualifying round. Budivelnik vs. BC Khimki28 september 2010

In the first game of Euroleague 2nd Qualifying round, due to excellent team play in defense and Keith Langford’s 16 points, BC Khimki players confidently won in the meeting with Ukrainian Budivelnik – 87-58 (21-10, 18-18, 24-15, 24-15). A return match will take place on October, 1 at 19:00 in Khimki Basketball Center.

BC Khimki best scorers: Langford (16 + 3 assists + 2 steals), Loncar (11), Kelati (11), Planinic (10 + 5 rebounds + 4 assists).

First loss happened in BC Khimki roster – Raul Lopez didn’t leave with the team because of a shoulder injury he had got in the game against Italian Caserta. The coaching staff decided not to risk his health, and the Spaniard stayed home – to train by an individual programme.

The starting five of the yellow-blue was: Planinic, Fridzon, Kelati, Monya and Eze. Just Eze opened the scoring in the beginning of the meeting. The opponent from first minutes began to pluck our attacks at the cost of a foul. BC Khimki players began to lead, 7-2. Beautiful “parachute” was played by Fridzon and Eze: the captain threw the ball to our center, and Benjamin put it into the basket. Then Planinic and Kelati demonstrated a good understanding and brilliant performance. In the absence of Lopez, Planinic was changed by Zaytsev. The beep and the score was – 21-10.

The gap of 11 points stayed for almost the entire second quarter. Our team practically didn’t throw from a distance, concentrated on attacking under the basket. Budivelnik continued to foul, but Khimki basketball players not always were accurate from free throws. Teams went to the break with the score 39-28.

In the third quarter our players managed to throw first three-pointers: Fridzon and Kelati distinguished themselves. Our devoted fans were chanting: “Only Khimki, only victory” and it was a supplementary support to our team.

Budivelnik did not throw out the white flag: a pair of successful attacks raised the morale of the Ukrainians. But Monya threw a three-pointer… and before the last quarter the score became – 60-41.

In the final quarter Zaytsev and Langford were really good. Three times Keith successively completed the attacks of our team, and the lead reached 24 points for 4:30 until the final beep. But the real decoration of the match’s end proved to be the roll call of fans of both clubs: the Ukrainians chanted the name of the Moscow Region team and our fans in response welcomed Budivelnik.

At the pitch the advantage of the yellow-blue developed into the final victory – 87-58. Now we are waiting for the return game in Moscow – on Friday, October 1, at 19:00.