BC Khimki may have been underdogs in their FIBA Europe League play-off series against Unics Kazan, but the Moscow side displayed the kind of veteran poise that wins titles on Wednesday night, beating Kazan 98-80 to advance to the Final Four.
Khimki have lost twice to Kazan in the Russian Superleague this season, but showed no signs of an inferiority complex in the decisive contest.
After a tight first half, Khimki broke the game open in the third quarter. They outscored their visitors 30-14 and had a 22 point cushion (79-57) going into the final period.
Alexander Petrenko, an unsung hero for Khimki this year, was once again at the fore. He led his side with 24 points in 25 minutes, nailing all 7 of his 2-point field goal attempts, and 3/3 from behind the arc.
Oscar Torres added 23 points and 8 rebounds for Khimki.
A key part of Khimki's game plan was trying to stop Kazan's Shammond Williams. The Georgia point guard was unstoppable in games 1 and 2, tallying 29 and 35 points respectively.
Khimki coach Sergei Elevich decided to entrust the defensive assignment to Vasily Karasev, a veteran of 4 European Championships and countles games at the top level.
The 33-year old guard was more than up to the task and he held Williams to 15 points.
Kaspars Kambala was Kazan's top scorer. He netted 18 points.