BC Khimki advanced to the Eurocup quarterfinals by downing Aris BSA 2003 Thessaloniki 88-72 on Tuesday in Group J. Aris, which fell to 1-4, was eliminated. Kresmir Loncar led the way for Khimki with 14 points, Sergey Monya added 13 with 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Zoran Planinc bagged 13 with 5 assists, Alexey Zukhanenko nailed 11 and Thomas Kelati 10. Dimitris Verginis chipped in 19 for Aris, Christos Tapoutos drilled 15 and Ronald Davis 14.
Loncar opened the scoring, but soon Verginis tied the score with a reverse layup. Davis stole the ball and completed a three-point-pay into the break, which was followed by Vitaly Fridzon for the 7-5 for the hosts. Davis from downtown put again Aris ahead, but Loncar answered from the baseline and few second later finished the fastbreak with a layup to lead 11-8. Verginis nailed 8 points in a row to put Aris in front 11-16 and force Khimki to call a timeout. Fridzon from long distance and Loncar again rolling to the basket tied the game at 16-16. Verginis from the foul line put again ahead the Greek side, but Egor Vyaltsev slammed in the ball for the 21-20, before Sergio Kerusch tied at 22-22 as the first quarter ended. Tapoutos gave a 22-24 margin to Aris, but Kelati opened fire from long distance and Monya capped an 8-0 run to give Khimki a 30-24 cushion. Giorgos Bogris finished with a right jump hook to go on 30-28, but Kelati and an alley-oop dunk by Zukhanenko extended the difference to 35-28 for Khimki. Free throws from Tapoutos and Kerusch kept Aris alive at 37-34 with three minutes left. A Planinc penetration and two three-point plays by Mickeal Gelabale and Zukhanenko gave the first double digit margin to the home team, 44-34. Sam Muldrow dunked, but Zukhanenko used his speed to run the floor and finish the break, before Bogris from the foul line and Chris Quinn beating the buzzer made it 48-38 at halftime.
Planinic with a layup after a perfect cut in the paint extended the margin to 55-42. Tapoutos answered with a pull-up jumper, but Planinic again and Loncar with 2 on the break made it 59-42. Verginis beat the 24-second buzzer from nine meters, Monya split free throws and Tapoutos hit another triple for 50-40. Monya rejected the visitors’ attempt of a comeback with another bomb. Dan Mavreides nailed a mid-range jumper, but Planinic went all the way and seconds later nailed a jumper to establish a 68-52 margin for Khimki. Kelati’s pull up jumper and Davis’s layup fixed 70-54 at the end of the third quarter. Loncar extended the cushon to 72-54 to begin the last quarter, a three-point-play from Davis and a jump hook by Bogris allowed to Aris to stay alive at 73-61, but a Planinic jumper gave again a big 79-63 cushion to the home team. Quinn pushed Khimki to 85-67 en route to a win and a ticket to the quarters.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012