BC Khimki outscored Anadolu Efes in Istanbul and clinched EuroLeague play-offs spot — 85-73, Thomas finished with 17 pts, Shved added 16 pts and dished 8 assists. Now on Friday, March 23, 2018 our team will face CSKA Moscow in Mytishchi. Tip-off at 20:00 msk.
Anadolu Efes — BC Khimki — 73-85
(29-18, 20-24, 12-19, 12-24)
Thomas (17 + 5 rebounds + 3 assists), Shved (16 + 8 assists + 3 steals), Vyaltsev (13 + 4 assists), Gill (11 + 7 rebounds), Jenkins (10 + 4 rebounds + 3 assists), Anderson (4), Markovic (3 + 6 assists), Robinson (3 + 4 rebounds), Todorovic (3 + 3 rebounds), Monya (3), Zaytsev (2).
Georgios Bartzokas, BC Khimki head coach:
“The players had a lot of pressure in the first half. We were hesitating on everything, in execution on offense and defense. We changed completely in the second half. I have to tell you that this is a very emotional, a very important moment for this club, because as you know Khimki does not have an A license and this is the first time in Khimki’s history that we qualified for the top eight and we are going to play in the playoffs. I am proud for my colleagues, my players, the club, for the whole organization. We needed to win two times in a row, against Maccabi in Tel Aviv and today in Istanbul against Efes, two great, offensive talented teams. So that means a lot to me and to the team”.
“I would like to congratulate everyone in our club: the president, sponsors, players, my colleagues, the front office, because it's a big moment for our club – the first time in history we've qualified for the playoffs as one of the top eight teams in the EuroLeague. We have also achieved this, I think, in the most difficult EuroLeague ever, playing against the best teams in this new format. If we see which teams are behind us in the rankings we can realize what a big achievement it is. On the game, we had a lot of pressure in the first half when we allowed almost 50 points. We were hesitating on defense and offense so we gave an opportunity to a talented team like Efes. But in the second half it was a dominating performance on defense – we gave them only 24 points, their field goals were 30%, we forced them to make 8 turnovers and generally played the game like we had to play in a game that was like a final for us. We also had nearly 30 assists so you can see how well we shared the ball. I think we have seven wins on the road – that’s credit to the players. Now we have three games more to finish, so let’s fight in every game to the end to see where we can finish. What I’m trying to build up in this team is, no matter who we play, to fight to win. You just have to have principles. Of course we have ambitions, but honestly, knowing how good this EuroLeague is, it’s very difficult to achieve the playoffs and a big accomplishment for the club. So right now, for one night, let’s be satisfied with this”.
Alexey Shved, BC Khimki guard:
“They played really good defense all game. Just the last three or four minutes, I don’t know what happened, maybe they were tired and maybe we played a little better. It’s a tough game here and they played great tonight. This was an important game for us. We always have pressure. This is the first time for us to go to the playoffs. This game was really important for us. We tried of course to win, but we started not really good and they started great and scored a lot of points. We are just happy to win tonight”.