By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After making the 2-0 in Moscow, Khimki wrapped up the quarterfinals business against Lokomotiv Kuban in Krasnodar, winning 86 – 71, sweeping the series and advancing to the VTB League semifinals in a highly impressive manner. CSKA Moscow is already waiting for Khimki there, having been the first team to qualify in the top four teams in the league.
To the surprise of noone, Tyrese Rice was once again the best player of Khimki with 19 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds, while Maxim Kolyushkin led his teammates in Loko with 19 points.
Although Anthony Randolph returned to action for Lokomotiv Kuban, this time coach Bartzokas didn’t use Dontaye Draper, basically lacking the services of the team’s basic backcourt duo, if we also take Malcolm Delaney’s absence into consideration.
Still, in the first half of the game it seemed like the hosts would put a much harder fight against their opponents than the previous game in the series, since the two teams went to the locker rooms with the score being 42-44.
The game remained close only for five more minutes after the halftime break. With the score 50 – 50, Loko began making many turnovers and this gave Khimki Moscow the chance to complete a 0-13 run that put them in a pole position for good.
After smelling blood, the guests didn’t want to stop and increased the difference, leading with 20 points, 52 – 72 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. With so many absences and a heavy rotation used by coach Bartzokas, Loko could not hope to recover from that deficit.
The quarterfinals were concluded with another sweep. Thanks to a festival of three-pointers (17/35) Zenit St. Petersburg beat Avtodor Saratov 95 – 82 on the road, becoming the last team to advance in the semifinals where it will meet Unics Kazan.