A fourth quarter surge from home side BC Khimki saw them take the opening game of their FIBA Europe League play-off series with French club Dijon.
More than 1,500 fans were present at the USC CSKA in Moscow to watch Khimki participate in the play-offs of a European competition for the second time in the club's history. Khimki reached this round of the FIBA Europe League last season, before bowing out to Ural Great.
The game was a close affair in the opening 30 minutes. Dijon had no answer for Khimki's frontcourt pairing of Ruben Wolkowisky (20 points and 11 rebounds) and Alexander Petrenko (18 points and 9 rebounds), while Khimki could not contain Dijon's Ricardo Hill (26 points and 11 rebounds).
In the fourth quarter it was Khimki that proved to be the more focused side.
Khimki's experienced backcourt of Melvin Booker and Vasily Karasev increased the game's tempo and consistently found Petrenko and Wolkowisky for easy buckets.
Dijon, on the other hand, ran out of steam and Khimki claimed victory, 87-78.
Sergey Elevic, Head Coach BC Khimki:
"Our opponents were more motivated. That often makes the difference in play off matches more than tactics. We were a little nervous and our opponents looked better in some areas. But we'll analyse our mistakes for the game in France. I hope that in Dijon Vladimir Vuksanovic will be back."
Nicolas Faure, head coach JDA Dijon:
"BC Khimki had a strong roster, they played very aggressive basketball and took too many offensive rebounds. But we fought 40 minutes of the match and hope that we manage to beat our opponents at home, and for sure we’ll return to Russia to win the third game."