In sports of the higher achievements this situation is eternal and unsolvable debate. On the one hand, the Russian basketball in the Euroleague now there is a guaranteed member of the Final four, with the other we have someone of our two representatives are also guaranteed to lose. CSKA and “Khimki”. Two of the top club of our men’s basketball for many years. “Derby Leningradka” (if no traffic jams, 20 minutes to each other’s homes to get), is very popular among fans in the United League, and now the main antipodes will have to face in the dressing room of a major European basketball festival. The quarter-final series to three victories.
Photo: BC Khimki
Both clubs booked their early tickets to the quarterfinals, and if tested fighters from CSKA are not used, then “Khimki” have made this breakthrough for the first time. The regular Euroleague season finished on Friday night, but our clubs played matches of the 30th round of the day before. CSKA gave the game mode combat training. Yellow-blue, in order to avoid games with the Muscovites, it was necessary to beat Barcelona, but. Interestingly, after the defeat, head coach of “Khimki” Georgios Bartzokas” called the meeting exhibition match. Greek coach does not like such: he is a supporter of the strictly established positions in defense, and it’s frankly an open game, with the result that after the first quarter, the Catalans got a good handicap:
– Barça attacked with a high percentage of effectiveness in the first half. Secondly, we looked tired and we have not been in the squad Canicatti, Anderson and Sokolov. Had a chance when our players came out for open shots, but many of them, alas, were oiled. Don’t mean to complain, but on the eve of the playoffs injuries were completely inappropriate. Let’s see what we can do in a quarterfinal series…
I must admit that the path of “Khimki” to the playoffs was lined with red carpet. Frisky beginning and even the leadership in the tournament has broken a lot of injuries. Amazing victory over the same “real” Madrid, was replaced by failures. But the problem of the minimum area of the knockout games, because, of course, games links that groped experienced Bartzokas, and magnificent play of Alexey Shved — the best player of Russia for today. After all, he became the most productive player of the regular season for a basketball player with a Russian passport was the first time, and the likelihood that he will be awarded a prize of MVP, very high. Judge for yourself: his batting average was 21.4 points per game. The future of his rival, the Frenchman Nando de Colo of CSKA finished the regular season on a mark of 17.2.
– For the first time we were in the eight best clubs in Europe, – says General Director of “Khimki” Pavel Astakhov. – And the overall success of the team, coaching staff and those people who are usually in the shadows. Doctors, masseurs, managers. But appetite comes during a meal. Our task is to break into the Final four. Nothing is impossible. Moreover, our departures are on the mend. Honeycutt is back training with the team, Anderson will join the team in a week, Sokolov is trained individually.
Recall that the strict rules of the main tournament of the Old continent made Khimki players to look for a arena, because home did not meet the criterion of capacity. And before the start of the problem: suppose we find, and how to fill it? But “arena-Mytishchi”, which has become a second home “Khimki”, always bring a full house.
– We initially had no flooring, no equipment, – says Astakhov. Arena was built as an exclusively hockey. But we are one region — has resolved these issues. We have created a homely atmosphere, began to come as fans from the region and viewers from Moscow, everyone wanted to see the best European clubs…
The quarter-final series starts on the 17th or 18 of April. The first and second, and if necessary, the fifth match will be held on CSKA’s court. Accordingly, the Moscow region club in the event of a failure at the start will correct the situation on their home court. “Classics” will be interesting.
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