BC Khimki Moscow wrote its debut win in the Barking Abbey Academy Euroleague Basketball Junior Classification Tournament with an 80-79 victory over KK Zadar in Group A on Thursday evening in London, England. The win gives Khimki a 1-1 record while Zadar suffer its second loss, and will look for its first win tomorrow against Maccabi Teddy Tel Aviv. The winner of the tournament will go on to participate in the Nike International Junior Tournament in Paris, France during the 2010 Euroleague Final Four weekend. Zadar held a steady lead throughout most of the game, but saw Khimki make a blitz in the closing minutes and dominate the offensive board in the last minute to complete a big comeback. Alexander Zakharov led Khimki with 20 points, Maksim Chislov added 13 with 7 boards while Yury Karpenko totalled 11. Benjamin Bucaj topped the lists with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Franko Sango reached 16 with 8 rebounds, Franjo Marasovic collected 12 and Emilio Banic finished with 11 and 9 rebounds.
Five minutes inside the game the teams were tied at 10-10, and the close score remained until the end of the first quarter when Zadar held a 17-19 lead. Micic hit twice from the arc in a row to ignite a 0-13 Zadar run, enough for a 30-44 half time lead. Khimki came back with better defense and held Zadar to make its first second half field goal only after 4 minutes, enough to cut the margin to score 9 points in a row and make it a close game again. Marasovic and Sango pushed the gap back to double-digits, to reach the 4th quarter with a 52-64 difference, that soon increased to 15 with 8 minutes to play. Zakharov wasn't ready to give up yet, and carried his team to score 8 points ini a row, to enter the last 5 minutes of the game down just by 7, 62-69. Bucaj made it an 11 point game again, but that's when things stopped working for Zadar. Zakharov and Karpenko were in a zone and soon Zadar held just a 74-75 lead, inside the last two minutes of the game. Zakharov had a chance to take the lead, but made just one shot from the line, forcing a 79-79 tie inside the last minute. Khimki was on the offensive board following the missed shot, and Chislov was sent to the line this time. He as well made just the first shot, but grabbed the rebound of his own shot to decide the game.
Thursday, February 18, 2010