After winning its first continental title, reigning Eurocup champion BC Khimki Moscow Region aims for a great Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in its third appearance in Europe’s premier competition in four years. Khimki comes off its best season to date as Coach Rimas Kurtinaitis and stars Zoran Planinic, Kresimir Loncar, Thomas Kelati, Vitaliy Fridzon and Sergey Monya led Khimki to Eurocup glory at home. Khimki downed Valencia Basket 77-68 in the title game led by Planinic, who scored 19 points and earned Finals MVP honors. Khimki also returned to the Russian League finals for the fifth consecutive season, though once again CSKA stood in its way to the title. Khimki boats the structure, experience, talent and ambition to do well in Europe's signature competition. Founded in January 1997 as Khimki Basketball Club, the club consolidated its place in the Russian Superleague by the 1999-2000 season. Khimki proved itself by placing seventh in the Russian League and reaching the Korac Cup group stage in each of the next two seasons and took another step forwards in the 2002-03 campaign. Khimki reached the Russian League and the Russian Cup semifinals in addition to the second stage in the FIBA Europe Champions Cup. Khimki remained strong over the coming years by finishing fifth and fourth respectively in the Russian League and returning to the Russian Cup semifinals in 2004 and 2005. The club reached the 2005 FIBA Europe League final four, though it lost against eventual champion Dynamo St. Petersburg. Khimki went one step higher in 2006, but lost against mighty CSKA Moscow in both the Russian League and the Russian Cup finals. The club also reached the FIBA EuroCup final, but lost against DKV Joventut. Khimki made its ULEB Cup debut in 2006 and reached the elimination rounds. The club's hard work paid off when Khimki downed CSKA in the 2007 Russian Cup final for the club’s first crown of any kind. It also reached the Russian League finals and the ULEB Cup Last 16. For the next season, Khimki added Jorge Garbajosa, Carlos Delfino and Kelly McCarty to become a Eurocup superpower and made it all the way to the Eurocup title game against Lietuvos Rytas. Khimki did not go home with its first European trophy and even though it returned to the Russian League finals, Khimki once again lost against CSKA. In 2009-10, Khimki had little trouble in the Euroleague regular season and showed it was not an average newcomer. A tough Top 16 group with Olympiacos and Caja Laboral prevented Khimki from reaching the playoffs, but the team regrouped to earn a trip back to the Russian League Finals. In 2010-11, Khimki survived the Euroleague Qualifying Rounds, but could not go past the regular season. The club won the VTB League title by downing CSKA 66-64 in the title game behind an outstanding Loncar. A motivated Khimki now hopes to use its recent experience and the feeling of winning a European title as motivation to do well in the 2012-13 in both the Euroleague and the Russian League.
Russian National Cup: 2008
DOMESTIC LEAGUE: Russia