Week 3 started with a thriller in Group C that was not decided until overtime ended, as Montepaschi Siena survived Khimki on the road by 102-104. Vladimer Boisa hit a miracle three at the end of regulation to send the game into OT and a jumper in the last seconds by Rimantas Kaukenas allowed the Italian team to escape Russia with a win to improve to a 2-1 record, while Khimki, which led by double digits in the second quarter, drops to 1-2. Romain Sato was huge for the guests leading the way with 30 points and 7 rebounds for ani ndex rating of 41. Kaukenas added 25 and three players helped with 12 points each: Terrell McIntyre, Boisa and Lonny Baxter. For Khimki, Melvin Booker had 19 points, Maciej Lampe 14, Oscar Torres 13, Vitaly Fridzon 11 and Ademola Okulaja 10.
The game started at a high scoring pace, and Vitaly Fridzon soon had scored 6 points for Khimki, but Montepaschi reacted fast as in minute 3, all the players of the starting five had at least scored one point already for an 11-8. However, Fridzon's second three made it 16-8. Ruben Wolkowysky was also a big power in the paint for the hosts, but Siena resisted with baskets by Vladimer Boisa and Romain Sato. Vladimir Veremeenko's layup gave Khimki the a 9-point lead in minute 8, 21-12. Four straight points by Rimantas Kaukenas and Sato put Siena closer, and Terrell McIntyre soon blasted a three that made it 23-21 with one minute to go. But between Ademola Okulaja and Maciej Lampe, the score progressed to 29-23 for the hosts after 10 minutes. Okulaja and Lampe remained prtagonists starting the second quarter, and Boris Gorenc helped make it a 37-28. Kaukenas was the main man for Siena in offense, while Khimki had different offensive options in each play. When Kelly McCarty didn't hit a three, it was Malevin Booker, and soon the scoreboard displayed a 52-40 after McCarty's new layup. Khimki had a good two-point percentage from the field, reaching 68%, but Sato managed to keep scoring for Montepaschi. However, Booker scored a last basket to make it 56-46 at the break.
Sato and Kaukenas opened the second half for Siena, which quickly got near at 56-60. Fridzon appeared again after some minutes, but Sato scored again for Siena. The hosts stood strong and closed in defense as Veremeenko scored after Sato's new triple for Siena, and when Lonny Baxter hit two free throws, Siena made it a 1-point game, 62-61 in minute 26. Baxter added a layup in the folloing play to put Montepaschi ahead for the first time, and did the same afterwards for a fast 62-65 after a 2-13 run for the guests. Lampe came to the rescue for Khimki, but Baxter was on fire now and after 30 minutes, the score was 73-71. After some minutes quiet, Oscar Torres appeared to score for Khimki, but Benjamin Eze slammed for Siena to make it 78-77 again. Torres, Boisa and Booker exchanged points for each team and the game stayed close. In the last plays, the protagonists were Kaukenas and Booker, as 5 straight points by the former and two free throws by the latter left a 89-88 score entering the last minute. Siena called for a timeout as Booker had to go to the line. He hit both attempts for 91-88, but after that, Boisa found the space to hit a vital three that sent the game into overtime, 91-91.
The extra session was again a rollercoaster of baskets and quickness. Kaukenas was the man for Montepaschi while Lampe and Booker erased almost all the difference again when their baskets put a 97-98 score. Sato score 4 points of his own but free throws by Booker and Torres tied the game again in the last minute, 102-102. However, in the last pley, Kaukenas found some space and enough time to hit a jumper that put the final 102-104 on the scoreboard as Siena escaped from Russia with a valuable road win.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006