Russian side BC Khimki grabbed top spot in Group L of the EuroCup with a home win against Ukrainian side Azovmash Mariupol on Tuesday night.
Khimki's 72-65 win increases their record to 4-1 in the round II of the competition, while Azovmash fall to 3-2.
Khimki’s Latin American duo of Oscar Torres (Venezuela) and Ruben Wolkowisky (Argentina) proved to be decisive for the home side. Torres erupted for 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Wolkowisky contributed 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocked shots.
|Oscar Torres was unstoppable against Azovmash|
The ever reliable Khalid El-Amin got the Ukrainians off to a good start with two consecutive lay-ups and they closed the opening period with a Miroslav Beric three-pointer to go ahead 13-15.
A red hot 5 minutes then put Azovmash firmly in control as they hit seven consecutive field goals. Bosnia and Herzegovina forward Kenjan Bajramovic nailed three shots in a row to start the 17-5 run which included three-pointers from El Amin and Oleksandr Skutyelnik, and gave Azovmash a 25-32 lead at the half.
Azovmahsh’ lead ballooned to as many as 11 points in the third period, but Torres and Wolkowisky combined to get their team right back in contention.
Trailing 31-42 after five minutes of the third quarter, the duo sparked a 17-4 run to close the period.
Torres’ three-pointer tied the game at 46-46 and a lay-up off an assist by rising star Vitaly Fridzon gave Khimki a 48-46 advantage going into the final quarter.
Khimki maintained their momentum into the fourth, opening the period with a 9-2 run which saw them open a 59-48 advantage.
To their credit, Azovmash refused to give up, and El-Amin hit 7 points in a 10-3 run which brought his side back to within three-points, 62-59.
But Khimki quickly replied with a Torres jump shot, and buckets from Booker and Wolkowisky re-established an 8-point advantage which proved too much for Azovmash to surmount in the final 70 seconds of the game.