Khimki Moscow Region pockets second Eurocup crown!
Khimki Moscow Region is the 2014-15 Eurocup champion and will play in the 2015-16 Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Khimki swept Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas in the two-game finals to conquered its second Eurocup title. Khimki defeated Gran Canaria 83-64 at Basketball Center Moscow Region on Wednesday to seal the series after winning the opening game by 25 at Gran Canaria. The victory marked a record third Eurocup crown for head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis, who led Khimki to its first Eurocup title in 2012 and won it with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in 2009. Tyrese Rice was named Eurocup Finals MVP after starring once again with 16 points and 6 assists for the winners. James Augustine did not miss a shot en route to 18 points, while Paul Davis shined with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals and Petteri Koponen added 13 points. Walter Tavares paced Gran Canaria with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks and Brad Newley scored 12. Davis and Rice shined early to give Khimki a 13-6 lead. An outstanding James Augustine gave the hosts to get a 27-18 advantage after 10 minutes. Khimki improved its defense and kept running its offense through Davis and Augustine. A three-pointer by Rice boosted his team's lead to 45-30 at halftime and Khimki cruised after that with plenty of time to prepare for the title celebrations.
First quarter: Khimki rolls again
Davis got Khimki going with free throws, as just in Game 1. A three-pointer by Rice soon gave the hosts a 5-0 lead. Tavares shined with a put-back slam, which Sergey Monia erased with a mid-range jumper. Tavares shined with another put-back dunk, before Davis sank a jump hook. Levon Kendall made a five-meter jumper to keep Gran Canaria within 9-6. Egor Vyaltsev stepped up with a second-chance basket, which Rice followed with a coast-to-coast layup for a 13-6 Khimki lead. The guests kept struggling to score until Oriol Pauli nailed a six-meter jumper. Koponen struck from downtown off the dribble, but so did Tomas Bellas. Augustine scored around the basket and matched Ian O'Leary's layup with an alley-oop slam. After Txemi Urtasun hit a mid-range jumper, Maksim Sheleketo hit a corner triple. Urtasun downed a jumper, but Davis and Augustine gave Khimki a 27-18 advantage after 10 minutes - making it a 34-point series lead.
Second quarter: Augustine shines, Khimki stays way ahead
Both teams struggled to score early in the quarter until Davis buried a mid-range jumper that made it a double-digit game, 29-18. Gran Canaria tried to push the game tempo, but kept missing shots. Meanwhile, Augustine dunked again. The guests were held scoreless for more than three minutes, which caused Coach Aito Garcia Reneses to call timeout. Newley tried to change things with a jumper, but didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, a fast break layup by Rice set a 33-20 Khimki advantage. Eulis Baez beat the shot clock with a long two-pointer, but Koponen did better with a step-back triple. Kendall scored down lown, but Augustine soon made it a 41-point series. Kyle Kuric shined with a two-handed slam and a jump hook by Tavares saw Khimki call timeout at 40-28. Rice fed Augustine for another dunk and improved Baez's free throws with a triple from the top of the key, good for a 45-30 Khimki lead at halftime.
Third quarter: A basketball party for Khimki fans
Kuric struck from downtown immediately after the break and Tavares split free throws, but a fast break layup by Stanislav Ilnitskiy restored a 47-34 Khimki lead. Rice buried his trademark five-meter jumper off the dribble. Baez and Davis exchanged jumpers and a corner three by Vyalstev made it an 18-point game. The Khimki fans were already celebrating the title, but both teams kept fighting for a prestigious win. Tomas Bellas scored in transition, but Augustine quickly answered with a reverse layup and free throws by Newley kept Gran Canara within 58-42. Rice scored again, before Newley hit more free throws. A backdoor layup by Davis kept Khimki fully in charge. Kendall and Koponen exchanged foul shots and a huge dunk by Davis made it a 20-point game. Augustine made free throws for a 68-46 advantage.
Fourth quarter: Khimki is the Eurocup champ!
Newley stepped up with a layup early in the quarter and Tavares split foul shots to make it 68-49. Khimki tried to open the floor with Monia at power forward, as its three main players tonight - Rice, Davis and Augustine - rested on the bench. Koponen nailed his third triple and even though Newley answered with a quick basket, a put-back slam by Ruslan Pateev gave the hosts a 73-51 margin. Nothing changed in the final six minutes, as Khimki fans and players were already celebrating. Gran Canaria had a bitter end to an otherwise fantastic Eurocup season and Khimki was crowned as the Eurocup champion for the second time in club history!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015