Khimki took the showdown between undefeated teams in Group D by edging Pamesa Valencia 81-78 on a game-winning three-pointer by Anton Ponkrashov, in arguably one of the best games seen in the ULEB Cup so far this season.
Top scorers: Ponkrashov (24), Ewing (30), McCarty (11), Rannikko (9).
Ponkrashov paced the winners with 24 points on 5-for-6 two-pointers, 3-for-3 triples and 5-for-5 free throws, as well as becoming the game hero with an incredible buzzer-beating triple. Dan Ewing added 17 points while Kelly McCarty had 11 for Khimki. Ruben Douglas broke a ULEB Cup record by firing in 9-for-12 three-pointers. The previous record was 8 three-pointer made, shared by 8 players. Douglas led all scorers with 36 points for Pamesa, that played without Vule Avdalovic, Zeljko Rebraca, Ruben Garces, Stanko Barac and Fred House. Albert Miralles added 13 while Albert Oliver had 10 for Pamesa, that led 19-32 early in the second quarter. Ponkrashov and Teemu Rannikko allowed Khimki to get a 48-47 edge at halftime. Douglas kept pacing Pamesa after the break while an alleyoop layup by Victor Claver tied the game at 78-78 with 30 seconds to go. Mike Wilkinson and Claver traded turnovers and Khimki had possession with 3 seconds to go. Ponkrashov beat the buzzer with a huge triple to allow all Khimki fans to celebrate a key win.
Khimki tried a zone defense early but Douglas punished it with three shots from downtown to give Pamesa a 8-12 lead. Ewing hit a six-meter shot off a Khimki timeout but a layup by Dejan Milojevic and a big basket by Williams kept Pamesa ahead, 10-16. Douglas — who else? — hit another triple while Miralles followed a dunk with a three-point play to boost Pamesa' lead to 14-24. McCarty tried to ignit the hosts' comeback but a red hot Douglas buried his fifth three-pointer to make it an 11-point game, 16-27, after 10 minutes. Miralles and Mindaugas Timinskas kept pacing Pamesa, but Khimki soon adjusted its offense. Ponkrashov and McCarty fueled a 7-0 run that got the hosts within 28-33. Oliver scored inside and Miralles added free throws but Vladimir Dyachok and Ponkrashov brought Khimki even closer, 33-37. Douglas hit another shot and nailed his sixth triple but a 0-7 run that Rannikko capped with a triple tied it at 42-42. Ponkrashov followed a triple with a fast break dunk to give Khimki a 48-47 halftime edge. Nothing changed immediately after the break, as Douglas stayed on fire while Wilkinson kept Khimki ahead, 54-52. Douglas followed free throws with his eight three-pointer but Pat Burke and McCarty provided another lead change, 58-57. Rannikko stepped up with a three-point play and soon added free throws but Oliver kept Pamesa within 69-64 after 30 minutes. Douglas fired in his ninth three-pointer — a new ULEB Cup record — and Milojevic added a layup for a 69-69 tie. Ponkrashov followed a triple with a key basket for a 74-70 Khimki edge. Pamesa recovered off a timeout, as Williams made foul shots and Douglas added a driving basket for a 76-74 deficit. Ewing stepped up for Khimki but Douglas scored coming off the baseline while Claver added an alleyoop basket for a 78-78 tie. Wilkinson and Claver traded turnovers but Ponkrashov fired in the game-winning triple right at the buzzer.