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Ukraine: Kyiv Sign Chikalkin

07 April 2004
By Andy Tongue, PA International

Ukrainian Superliga side BC Kyiv have completed a sensational swoop for Sergei Chikalkin.

The Russian international guard made a surprise exit from Ural Great just last week before the Super League play-offs amidst reports that the club were unhappy with his play.

BC Kyiv coach Renato Pasquali moved fast to sign the 28-year-old for the remainder of the season, a player he knows well from their time together at Italian side Benetton.

Chikalkin torched new side Kyiv for 25 points in the FEL
And the excellent perimeter shooter could prove crucial with Kyiv going into the Ukraine play-offs looking to beat league leaders Azovmash.

Pasquali said to PA International: "We were looking for a player who could play in positions two or three and we needed cover for a couple of injured guys.

"Bringing him to the club is a major boost for the players and a great boost for the club's image.

"I coached him in Italy with Benetton. He's the kind of player that knows how to win. I want players who know how to win."

As well as the capture of Chikalkin, Pasquali has further bolstered the squad by bringing in John Celestand and Sean Colson and has received a boost with the return from injury of former Nancy and Azovmash player Oleksandr Lokhmanchuk.

Pasquali went on: "Without these players we would have had no chance of winning the championship, but we've overhauled the squad. We've said: 'Why not try to win Superliga this season?'"

Chikalkin was understood to be extremely unhappy with Ural Great's decision to part with his services, with the player saying: "I can't understand the reasons that forced the board to release me and probably never will understand."

But Pasquali is confident the star 28-year-old marksman will soon forget about events in Perm and will be firing on all cylinders as Kyiv set their sights on play-off success.

"He comes to play basketball. He knows me. He knows how to win. His motivation here won't be a problem," Pasquali said.

Kyiv are presently second in Superliga, three points behind Azovmash, who beat Kyiv 69-67 in a dramatic top-of-the-table encounter last week.

The Superliga play-offs get underway on April 18.

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