Wolkowisky Fires Up Khimki

21.02.2006

BC Khimki held off a determined Dexia Mons-Hainaut to win the opening game of their their best-of-three EuroCup quarter-final on Tuesday in Moscow.

Ruben Wolkowisky, an Olympic gold medal-winning center for Argentina at the Olympics in Greece, showed once again he is the man for the big occasion with a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds as Khimki prevailed 91-75.

Khimki have had trouble putting teams away all season and that was case against Dexia.

Three times late in the first half, the Russian outfit held a 15-point lead but they were unable to deliver the knockout punch.

With almost six minutes played in the second half, Sergey Krasnikov's dunk put Khimki ahead at 58-44, yet they still could not press home their advantage.

Instead, the game turned into a three-point shooting exhibition with Omar Cook, who led all scorers with 24 points for Dexia, nailing the first.

His team-mate Dragan Markovic then buried back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to just five (58-53).

Long-range shots from Khimki's Krasnikov and Alexander Petrenko restored an 11-point cushion, but then Cook again buried one from the arc.

Gianmarco Pozzecco, Khimki's flamboyant point guard, then got in on the act with a three to make it a 67-56 lead.

In all, seven consecutive three-pointers had been scored and Khimki, after Cook made just one of two from the line, led 67-57 with 10 minutes to play.

If fans thought the teams were about to cool off, they were mistaken. Markovic drained a three to make it 67-60, but then Pozzecco twice struck from the arc again as Khimki led 73-60.

The battling Belgians refused to give in though, and they had a 12-3 spurt to close to within 76-72 with 5:36 to play, forcing Khimki coach Serguei Elevich to call timeout.

George Evans had scored three baskets and Cook nailed two more three pointers - he finished five of 11 for the game - to leave Dexia with their smallest deficit since early in the first quarter.

The break did not do the visitors any favours because they cooled off and scored just three points the rest of the way.

Wolkowisky made two free throws, Booker sank two from the line and then Wolkowisky scored again to take his points haul to 19.

Khimki pulled away for a 16-point win.

The victors had four players hit a trio of three-pointers. Petrenko was three of five, Vitaly Fridzon three of six, Krasnikov three of seven and Pozzecco three of four.

Do not count out coach Niksa Bavcevic's Dexia, however.

Elevich will know that this tie is far from over with game two set for Friday back in Belgium.


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