BC Khimki Moscow Region has made it to the 2010-11 Turkish Airlines Euroleague! Khimki became the first team to survive the Qualifying Rounds by thrashing Le Mans 87-66 in Game 2 of their make-or-break series on Friday. Khimki won all six Qualifying Round games and must wait until Sunday, when Alba Berlin plays Spirou Charleroi, to find out which regular season group it joins. If Alba wins, it would be sent to Group A, according to the competitioni by-laws, so as not to coincide with the competition's only other German team, Brose Baskets. In that case, Khimki would be in Group B with Olympiacos, Real Madrid, Unicaja, Virtus Roma and Brose Baskets. If Spirou wins its series on Sunday, Khimki will go to regular season Group A with Caja Laboral, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Partizan m:ts Belgrade, Asseco Prokom and Zalgiris Kaunas. Le Mans will play in the 2010-11 Eurocup. Thomas Kelati led the winners with 17 points. Keith Langford added 16 for Khimki. Ryvon Covile and Alain Koffi led Le Mans with 15 points apiece. Alex Acker added 10 for the guets.
Ben Eze got Khimki going with a three-point play and Sergey Monya soon gave his team a 5-2 lead. JP Batista and Koffi scored down low to tie it at 8-8. Le Mans kept powering the offensive board, as Acker finished a three-chance Le Mans offense with a bomb from downtown and Koffi added a put-back basket for a 10-13 lead. Zoran Planinic and Vitaliy Fridzon stepped up for Khimki while a layup by Aleksey Savrasenko put his team back ahead, 16-15. Kelati buried consecutive three-pointers sandwiched by Kreso Loncar's layup to boost Khimki's lead to 24-15 after 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Raul Lopez capped a 16-0 run that kept Khimki way out of trouble, 28-15, early in the second quarter. Charles Kahudi tried to change things with 4-of-4 free throws but he didn't find much help around, as Planinic restored a 34-21 Khimki lead. Acker and Kahudi stepped up with respective triples and Koffi added 4 points in a 0-12 run that brought Le Mans back to life, 34-33. A jumper by Langford and a put-back layup by Covile fixed the halftime score at 36-35.
A jumper by Acker gave Le Mans its first lead, 36-37, immediately after the break. Langford quickly answered from downtown but Antoine Diot tied it at 39-39. Another triple by Kelati sparked a 7-0 Khimki run that Eze capped with a wild dunk, making Le Mans call timeout at 46-39. Ben Dewar and Langford traded free throws but once again Kelati buried a triple for a 51-42 score. Covile tried to get Le Mans back in the series but Kelati - who else? - sank another three-pointer to restore a double-digit Khimki lead, 56-46. Langford followed a power layup with a dunk that broke the game open, 62-49. A jumper by Loncar kept Khimki way ahead, 64-51, after 30 minutes. Vadim Panin had 7 unanswered points to boost the hosts' lead to 71-51 with 7 minutes left and everything was said and done at that point. Le Mans' fantastic run in the Qualifying Rounds had a bitter end, as all Khimki fans were already aware that their team will compete in the 2010-11 Turkish Airlines Euroleague.
Friday, October 8, 2010