Khimki Moscow Region escaped from Universiada Hall of Sofia, Bulgaria, with a 79-85 win over Lukoil Academic Sofia. The result lifted Khimki to 1-1 in Group E, while Academic remained winless at 0-2. A 10-0 run to open the last quarter gave a double-digit cushion to Khimki, 65-75, which then rejected all the hosts’ attempts to come back. Marko Popovic had a stellar night by scoring 27 points, 7 of them in the crucial run, on 5-of-6 two point shooting and 4 of 5 from long distance. He also added 4 assists and 8 foul drawn for an index rating of 33. Sergey Monya netted 19 points with 9 rebounds, Mickael Gelabale scored 12 and Egor Vyaltsev 11 for the winners. Davin White bagged 18 for the home team and Aleksandar Yanev and Dimitris Verginis had 12 each.
Yanev’s three pointer gave a 21-17 margin to Academic late in the first quarter. At the start of the second, Nikita Balashov’s jumper and Petteri Koponen’s three pointer put Khimki in front 25-27. At the midway point of the quarter, Monya, with back-to-back baskets from downtown gave a more consistent advantage, 35-43, to the visitors, but 8 unanswered points from the hosts, including a jumper from Pavle Marcinkovic tied the score, 43-43, at halftime. The teams exchanged leads in the third until James Augustine’s huge dunk and additional free throw made it 49-56 for Khimki. Academic, fueled by Alando Tucker and Dimitris Verginis tied the score once more, 63-63, before Kieron Achara and Augustine kept the scoring balanced, 65-65 through three quarters. Popovic with 7 points highlighted a 10-0 Khimki run that opened the final quarter. White kept his team fighting with a three-point-play, but the visiting team maintained a safe margin till the final buzzer.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013