Khimik Struggles

19 October 2010

BC Khimik Yuzhny narrowly disposed of CSU Asesoft Ploiesti in the EuroChallenge Qualifying Round but the form has been so bad at the Ukrainian outfit on the domestic front that there haven't been any celebrations.

The Ukrainian outfit is mired in a slump that has seen coach Zoran Kalpic step down and the team installing Vitaly Usenko as caretaker boss.

That change did not bring the desired result in the next game on Monday night as Khimik crashed to a 96-77 defeat to Budivelnik.

Defense has been, and continues to be one problem.

Against Budivelnik, Khimik allowed the opponents 29 points in the first quarter alone.

Budivelnik center Michailis Anisimovas finished with 20 points while power forward Lemayne Wilson scored 16 and pulled down seven rebounds.

Andriy Agafonov also tore apart his former team with 16 points and six rebounds for Budivelnik.

"I tried to introduce a more traditional defense but with very little time to prepare there was no understanding and we have games every other day," Usenko said.

Khimik's 22-year-old guard Sergei Popov spoke about the team's struggles after their fifth consecutive defeat to begin the domestic campaign.

"I believe that in attack, things have become easier, more relaxed, but we are still lacking the number five (center)," he said.

"We cannot defend against larger rival players."

Popov is trying to remain optimistic.

"We will keep working and I think the results will be better," he said.

The 2.07m Agafonov is now with a different team but he's been paying close attention to his old club.

"I've watched almost every game since the beginning of the season, seen the stats, games from Mykolaiv and Kiev," he said.

"I was able to watch videos. I can say that over the seven years I was here, this is the worst possible start to the season.

"What is the reason for what's happening, I don't know.

"Maybe the problems they have in the team some, perhaps, not enough big players.

"It was now clear that we had a clear advantage under the basket."

Agafonov says the most alarming problem for Khimik could be that the young players are not hungry.

"Perhaps some young players do not want to prove that they are something better than foreign players, and that they want to play more on the court and take their place," he said.

"I think that's the problem."


17.12.2010 - EuroChallenge
16.12.2010 - EUROCHALLENGE

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