Demon Astronauts Amsterdam went into this evening's contest against BC Khimki facing a daunting prospect; win or face elimination from the competition. Against the group leaders, the task proved thankless and the Dutch side ultimately fell short of their goal.
Despite the difference in fortunes between the two sides this season, Amsterdam gave a good account of themselves. The first quarter proved to be something of an offensive show as both sides chalked up 25 points.
But while Khimki were able to retain that pace in the second quarter, the home side faltered. The Russians tallied 28 points in the quarter to 16 from Amsterdam, and it gave Khimki a 12-point halftime advantage, 41-53.
With their season on the line, Amsterdam fought back in the third period and 2 free throws from Edward Lieverst reduced Khimki's lead to 6 points, 63-69.
Amsterdam got even closer to their opponents at the 35-minute mark when a jump shot from Teddy Gipson made the score 75-78.
But it was as close as the home side would get.
Four consecutive free throws from Alexander Petrenko soon re-established Khimki's lead and they held on for a seventh win of the season and top spot in Group C.
Petrenko was the outstanding man for Khimki and finished the game with 27 points. The 203 cm forward has averaged 26 ppg in his last 2 outings and shot 18/27 from the field.
Arik Shivek, Head Coach Amsterdam Astronauts:
"We played against a top European team, one of the best four ini the FIBA Europe League. We played an exciting and positive game we can be proud of how we played the game although we lost, we me made a big improvement, and it will help us in the competition."
Serguei Elevich, Head Coach BC Khimki:
"I am happy with the result and it was a good game."