Telindus Oostende brought the ULEB Cup back to its home fans in style on Tuesday, by grabbing a first Group C victory by 93-88 over dangerous Khimki of Russia. The result meant that all six teams in Group C are tied with 1-1 records after two games played. Lavor Postell hit 4 of 5 three-pointers and 10 of 11 free throws on his way to 30 points to lead Oostende, which had to comeback from 7 points behind in the second half and outlast a late Khimki rush. Elvir Ovcina was huge inside, scoring 17 points and pulling 11 rebounds for the winners, who also got 17 points from Rashard Wright and 14, including key fourth-quarter baskets, from Eric Hicks. Khimki had five scorers between 18 and 14 points, led by Oscar Torres. Kelly McCarty added 15, Vitaly Fridzon 14, Maceij Lampe and Melvin Booker 13 each. Oostende's 32-23 rebounding edge, 12-8 on the offensive boards, proved a key edge in a close game.
Booker and McCarty got Khimki on the board quickly, but Guy Muya scored a layup and a triple - his only points of the game - to post Oostende's first lead at 4-7. Khimki quickly tied, but Oostende stayed a step ahead until Booker's triple grabbed an 11-12 advantage for the guests. Postell's first points got the lead back for Oostende, and he followed witha triple to extend it. He then ended a scoreless 2 minutes with another from the arc to complete an 8-0 run with Oostende leading 19-12. Vitaly replied from downtown for the guests, but Postell, Vanja Plisnic and Rashar Wright rode the quarter out for Oostende holding a 26-21 edge. With a triple to start the second quarter and 3 more points soon after, Elvir Ovcina upped the Oostende lead to 32-23. Torres and Ademola Okulaja shot Khimki back with three-pointers, but Postell made one in between them and Eric Hicks helped him keep the hosts up 37-31. Torres was hot however, and a pair of his baskets now ignited a 0-9 Khimki blast that put the guests ahead, 37-40. Soon, Fridzon was adding a triple to that, but Postell took over for the hosts with 5 points in a row, including a dunk that restored the Oostende lead, 44-43. Both sides traded points at the line until Plisnic returned with a layup to keep Oostende up by the minimum, 48-47, at the half.
Another lead change began the third quarter, and by the time Torres, Booker and Fridzon got involved, Khimki had a 3-9 run and a 51-56 advantage. Oostende fought back point by point, with Rashad Wright canning a key triple and Postell hitting free throws that cut the difference to 56-58. But Fridzon was back with a triple to go with buckets by Ruben Wolkowysky and Torres that gave Khimki its biggest lead, 58-65. Postell, Ovcina and Plisnic rescued Oostende with the next 7 points, but before the hosts could tie or go ahead, McCarty appeared with a triple and a layup to make it 64-70. It was Oostende's turn now, and with an 11-5 closing run in which four players scored, Wright hit a go-ahead layup to finish the third quarter 75-73. When Ovcina and Postell tried to lengthen the advantage, Lampe matched their 5 points to keep Khimki close, at 80-78. The Oostende defense worked well as Hicks and Ovcina got 4 points back, but neither team was giving up on this game. Hicks kept the hosts going with a dunk and layup as McCarty and Booker hit jumpers for Khimki. McCarty stepped up another pair of swishes that, together with Vladimer Veremeenko's layup, had Khimki as close as 91-88 heading into the final minute. No more shots fell for the visitors, however, and when they had to foul near the end, Postell was perfect from the line to sew up Oostende's first victory of the new season.