Press March 2012

31 marchThomas Kelati: Welcome to the Eurocup Finals!

Hello, Eurocup fans! Once again, this is Thomas Kelati of BC Khimki, which is now one of the teams that made it to the Eurocup Finals! It is amazing feeling! It was our number one goal from the very beginning of the season, getting to the finals, which start in just two weeks! We know it is a big advantage to play the finals on our home court, in the gym where we practice and played for the last seven months. It was difficult to get here but we are very happy to be exactly where we wanted to be. Getting here was the first step and winning is the second! This team was put together thinking that we would be in the Euroleague. It is a Euroleague-level team, a very ambitious club and a well-known name in European basketball. We know that winning the Eurocup will give us a guaranteed spot in the Euroleague. It would be very disappointing not to win the title.

28 marchDid Bilbao fans ask for the 'century'?

With one step to the Final Four our team played probably its worst game of the season. Ineffective defense allowed Bilbao to score 94 points. CSKA stays in Baskonia for two more days.

28 marchVladimir Veremeenko: I always work at full stretch

The Kazan UNICS overcoming a deep February crisis, begin to revive. Kazan team got to the Final Four in March, ending the regular season with away victories over the strong Krasnye Krylia and Zalgiris and keeping the final first place in Group A. Belarusian forward Vladimir Veremeenko in these games was the most prominent figure on the court, who eventually was named MVP of the month.

28 marchVladimir Veremeenko — is MVP of March

The forward of Russian UNICS Vladimir Veremeenko got the title of VTB United League MVP champion according to March results.

28 marchQuarterfinals, Game 2 MVP: Yotam Halperin, Spartak St. Petersburg

Spartak St. Petersburg reached the Eurocup Finals by sweeping its two-way series against CEZ Nymburk and one of its players registered the best individual performance of all winning squads in Game 2 of the Quarterfinals.

21 marchQuarterfinals, Game 1 MVP: Bojan Dubljevic, KK Buducnost VOLI

n what probably was the most surprising result of the first leg of the Eurocup Quarterfinals, Bojan Dubljevic of KK Buducnost Voli led his team to a home win over Valencia Basket by 75-71 and earned weekly MVP honors in the process with an index rating performance of 25.

20 marchMoment of silence for Enzo Lefebre

Arenas around Europe will fall silent with respect before the playoffs tip off this week as the Euroleague Basketball family pays tribute to one of its founders, Enzo Lefebre, who recently passed away. Euroleague Basketball clubs in both the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the Eurocup will observe a moment of silence in Mr. Lefebre's honor prior to the first game in each quarterfinal series starting Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Enzo Lefebre, a longtime club executive in Italy, participated in the founding of Euroleague Basketball in 2000, collaborated in the organization of the ULEB Summer League and was a key figure in hosting last season’s Eurocup Finals in Treviso, where he was most recently the vice president of Benetton Basket. By observing a moment of silence this week, Euroleague Basketball joins its clubs and fans in remembering the inspired devotion that Mr. Lefebre gave over decades to our sport.

19 marchZoran Planinic, BC Khimki

Few Eurocup newcomers have entered the competition with more experience than Zoran Planinic of BC Khimki. A well-rounded veteran in his fourth season in Russia, Planinic had eight Euroleague seasons under his belt before making his debut in the 2011-12 Eurocup. Planinic has been one of the pillars that have taken Khimki to the quarterfinals after a near-perfect season in which the team has only lost once. He is averaging 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and is third in the competition with 5.3 assists over 11 games. Planinic has scored 12 points or more in each of his last six games, which shows how he steps up when the games are most important. A young veteran at age 29, Planinic could be four games away from winning his first continental title and everyone at Khimki is aware of this great opportunity, as he told us in this interview. "It is a big thing for us and we have talked about it all year long. We cannot just get to the Eurocup Finals; we need to win it" Planinic told "This club has put together a very good team and for us, getting back to the Euroleague is the only thing on our minds. Players, coaches, fans, everyone is aware of that and that is the goal."

14 marchKhimki stays in touch with CSKA

Khimki remains in the hunt for the top spot in the BEKO PBL standings following 88-80 win over Lokomotiv-Kuban. They're still one win behind CSKA. The Moscow Region side suffered a painful loss from Loko back in January, but managed to take a revenge on Tuesday.

5 marchMiles' double-double lands him Player of the Week award

28-year old guard Aaron Miles (186-G-83) put on an amazing game in the last round for Krasnie Krilya and receives a Player of the Week award for round 14.