Valencia Basket advanced to the EuroCup Semifinals for the seventh time in club history by downing Khimki Moscow Region 92-76 in front of a sell-out crowd of 8,500 at Fuente de San Luis arena on Wednesday.
Valencia made the most of its home-court advantage, winning both of its home games in this best-of-three series to set up a semifinals clash against Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, also played in a best-of-three format. Valencia will have the home-court advantage in its series against Jerusalem. Sam Van Rossom paced the winners with 17 points and Bojan Dubljevic posted 16 points and 11 rebounds. Pierre Oriola scored 13 points, Luke Sikma 12, Rafa Martinez 11 and Will Thomas 10 for Valencia. Alexey Shved led Khimki with 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting. E.J. Rowland added 14 and Sergey Monia had 12 for the visitors. Valencia outrebounded Khimki 36-26 and shot well – 25 of 39 on two-point shots (64.1%) and 11 of 27 from downtown (40.7%) – to win the game and keep fighting for EuroCup glory.
Vyacheslav Zaytsev got Khimki going with a driving layup. Markel Brown added an alley-oop dunk and Robbie Hummel struck from downtown, but an outstanding Van Rossom tied it at 7-7. Sikma followed a layup with free throws to put Valencia in charge, 11-9. Rowland rescued Khimki with a stop-and-pop jumper and three-pointers by Shved and Monia gave the guests a 15-17 edge. A driving layup by Rowland fixed the score at 15-19 after 10 minutes. Thomas hit free throws and followed Dubljevic's three-pointer with his own shot from downtown, which prompted Khimki to call timeout at 24-21. Jacob Pullen swished a jumper and added consecutive layups, but Joan Sastre and Sikma kept the hosts ahead, 30-28. Oriola followed a step-back jumper with a tip-in, Martinez nailed a three-pointer and Dubljevic took over with a jump hook that boosted Valencia's margin to 39-34 at halftime.
Monia and Sastre traded triples right after the break, but Valencia improved its defense soon after that. Meanwhile, Van Rossom and Sikma each had 4 points in a 12-0 run highlighted by Dubljevic's jump hook. Pullen split free throws and a layup by Dubljevic made it an 18-point game, 56-38. Monia hit a couple of three-pointers and got help from Rowland and Hummel to bring Khimki a bit closer, 63-50. Martinez hit a triple, but a dunk by Rowland and free throws by Shved kept Khimki within 66-54 after 30 minutes. Shved and Dubljevic exchanged bombs from downtown early in the fourth quarter. Van Rossom joined the three-point shootout to make it 72-57. An outstanding Dubljevic soon made it a 20-point game. Khimki never stopped trying, but the Valencia fans understood they had time to celebrate a historic win.