Due to great defense and small number of turnovers BC Khimki scored a huge victory over one of the best European teams FC Barcelona Regal — 78-65 (21-18, 25-23, 16-14, 16-10). On January 7, 2013 our team will face BC Astana Kazakhstan on the road within the bounds of VTB United League.
Best scorers: Planinic (16 + 6 assists), Fridzon (13), Zhukanenko (10), Davis (10 + 8 rebounds)
Xavier Pascual, FC Barcelona Regal head coach:
— We lost our rhythm in the third quarter and didn't control the game. I think it was the key to our loss. Khimki played its own game, always organized. They hit a lot of shots and knew exactly at which rhythm they wanted to play. Their run at the beginning of the third quarter was the key to this game. That made us trail all the way from that moment and they felt more confident from then on. Not having Navarro affected us. He is a special player and very, very important to build our own game. This team is created to play with him and not having him affected us. We are in a tough group in which every game will be important, but I believe Khimki has a lot of chances to make it to the playoffs.
— I don't know what happened after halftime. Khimki really increased its defensive pressure and played better defense. That's what we had to do and we didn't do it. It was much more difficult for us to score. Navarro is one of the best players in Europe and when you take him away from your team, it is going to hurt. We won some games without Juan Carlos this year, but at the same time, when he is not there we really miss him.
Rimas Kurtinaitis, BC Khimki head coach:
— I am very happy for the victory, which is very important. We played well in defense and in offense, and I am happy for my players who worked today hard, I don’t want to mark some players; we played good as a team. Today we made only 6 turnovers and that’s a good result. If we want to go forward we have to reduce the number of mistakes. We have good players and during 40 minutes with the concentration we may don't make turnovers. In general we played a great game and managed to keep Planinic in the game; he played 30 minutes and he was successfully substituted by Koponen and Rivers. We made a run in the second quarter. Now we play equal games and add from match to match. We realize our moments, make run when possible and try to preserve the result.
— It’s a great feeling to beat Barcelona, like Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Panathinaikos Athens. I think we’ve established ourselves as one of the best teams in Europe and we have to continue playing in this way. We’ve played only two games, the Top 16 is very long, but for confidence and moving forward it’s a very big win. As for Navarro, he is a big part of the team but they have a lot of great players. I really believe we can move on to the playoffs; we are a great team, it’s a good task for us and we are happy with the outcome. Historically Barcelona is one of the best teams and it always plays for victory. Today our defense won the game. That was the key to success.
— It was a great game for us. We knew that at home we could beat any team of Europe. Today we played very good defense and I think it was the crucial factor of our success. Of course, our opponent missed Navarro, who is a great player, he is important for them. But the only important thing now is that we beat Barcelona and everybody can say: ‘Okay, Barca missed Navarro so Khimki won,’ but I think we can also beat Barcelona with him. I’m very happy with this result: we started the Top 16 the right way with two wins in a row. We are playing better and better. Now it’s time to keep focus in this direction and try to win the next Euroleague game.