Despite a constrained start, BC Khimki scored a very important and smart victory in a do-or-die Top 16 Euroleague game vs Fenerbahce Ulker — 99-76 (22-23, 27-14, 21-24, 29-15). On Monday, March 25, 2013 our team will face Krasnye Krylia Samara in the last VTB United League regular season game.
Best scorers: Koponen (23 + 7 assists), Monya (18 + 6 assists + 3 steals), Davis (14), Fridzon (13), Vyaltsev (10).
Rimas Kurtinaitis, BC Khimki head coach:
— I am happy with the result of this game; it is a very big victory for us. However, the game was not easy, especially in the beginning. We had a great responsibility, because in the case of a loss, the situation would become more complicated. We started not very good, but the players from the bench, Koponen and Monya, did their best and helped us a lot. They gave the team the necessary energy and played well in defense and offense. I am glad we played like a team and made 30 assists. Also we were better in rebounding. We were able to stay together and unite in the situation when we needed a victory very much, so I would like to thank the guys for their devotion.
Ertugrul Erdogan, Fenerbahce Ulker head coach:
— Actually, it was not an important game for us from the point of view of the standings in the group. For sure, we would like to play better basketball and win the game because for us Euroleague games are also important, not only the Turkish League. Unfortunately this season is very unusual for our team; I’ve never seen such a season before. We have a different picture in the Euroleague and in the Turkish League, first of all, psychologically. We tried to pick up our game one more time, especially in the first quarter. But we were so fragile and didn’t play consistent basketball. There were a lot of ups and downs, we had a lot of problems in one-on-one situations. We couldn’t succeed one more time in a Euroleague game. So I congratulate BC Khimki and its coach. I wish them all the best for the next game and for the rest of the season.
Petteri Koponen, BC Khimki guard:
— Everybody knew how important this game was for us and, actually, it wasn’t easy. Everybody gave 100 percent for a win tonight. We played good team basketball and eventually won. I would like to thank the head coach for the trust he gave me. The most important thing is our victory. Every game I try to play as good as possible. Today I felt confidence, my teammates found me and gave me the ball.