Khimki Moscow Region advanced to the third and last phase of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds by sweeping past Budivelnik of Ukraine with a 74-67 home win on Friday in Russia. Khimki broke a 61-61 tie with a 9-2 run late in the fourth quarter, assuring the sweep, although a 29-point victory in their first game had already guaranteed the series victory. Khimki will play the winner of the Alba Berlin-Hemofarm Stada series, to be decided later Friday, for the chance to reach the Euroleague regular season. Keith Langford posted 14 points to lead six Khimki players who scored 9 or more. Thomas Kelati, Alexey Savrasenko and Kresimir Loncar added 11 points each and Sergey Monya 10, including a late triple that gave his team the lead for good. For Budivelnik, which showed a lot of pride in practically a no-win situation,Michailis Anisimovas led the way with 16 points on 7-for-7 two-point shooting. Dewarick Spenser and Dmytro Zabirchenko chipped in 13 each. The 17 turnovers forced on Budivelnik by the khimki defense proved too much for the visitors to overcome.
Monya got Khimki going with a three-pointer, igniting a 7-0 opening run that he capped with a layup. Spencer scored in penetration and Anisimovas added free throws to break the ice for Budivelnkik. Nonetheless, a pair of veterans, point guard Raul Lopez - back after missing the opening game of the series - and big man Savrasenko kept the hosts way ahead at 11-4. Lamayn Wilson downed a three-pointer and Anisimovas scored twice in the paint to keep Budivelnik as close as 15-13. Kelati and Loncar stepped up with back-to-back baskets but free throws by Denys Lukashov and a bomb from downtown by Zabirchenko brought the guests within 21-18 after 10 minutes. Zabirchenko sank another triple to spark a 0-8 run that Anisimovas capped with a layup to give Budivelnik a 23-28 margin early in the second quarter. Fridzon tried to change things with consecutive jumpers and soon added a layup to bring Khimki as close as 29-30. Savrasenko scored down low but 4 unanswered points by Billy Keys kept the guests ahead, 31-34. Keys scored again and Zabirchenko struck from downtown for a 35-39 Budivelnik edge at halftime.
Khimki seemed content to keep exchanging points after halftime, as baskets by Langford, Savrasenko and Kelati cut the difference to 42-43. Kelati then buried a triple to re-take the lead for Khimki, but it didn't last. Spencer and Leonid Stefanyshyn filled a 2-8 run to put the visitors ahead 49-53. Loncar took back momentum for Khimki, however, with a layup good for a 54-53 lead on the third-quarter buzzer. Behind Spencer and Anisimovas, Budivelnik battled back for a 61-61 tie in the middle of the fourth quarter. Although the series was clearly lost, the Ukranian visitors clearly wanted to leave their mark on the qualifying rounds. Monya deflated those hopes with a triple, and even though Spencer followed with another basket, Khimki pulled away on 2 layups by Langford around another by Kelati to a 72-65 lead, enough to secure the victory and a sweep into the last round of qualifying!
Friday, October 1, 2010