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Proteas Pound Khimik To Reach Landmark

26.02.2008

Proteas EKA AEL completed a two-game sweep of Khimik on Tuesday to book their place in the EuroCup Final Four.

The Limassol outfit, making it to the competition's showpiece event for the first time in club history, won 87-76 after one of the most dominating displays by any team in the 2007-08 campaign.

Charles Barton's team only won the first leg back in Cyprus 70-65, so few would have expected them to take a stranglehold on Game Two by the end of the first quarter.

But that's what happened after the visitors went on a 15-1 run in the opening frame for a 20-5 lead.

The advantage ballooned to 31-11 near the end of the period and Khimik got no closer than 13 points for the rest of the first half.

The visitors kept the pressure on and went in front by as many as 23 in the third quarter, but Khimik refused to give in.

They managed to cut the deficit to 71-58 with just under eight minutes to go after a three-ball from Martynas Mazeika.

The same player then sank a lay-up to make it 71-60, only for Proteas to reply with a three-pointer from Karim Souchu.

Still, Khimik persevered and with 2:36 left, two Mazeika free throws trimmed the Proteas lead to 77-67.

Maxime Zianveni, who finished with 19 points, made a jumper for a 79-67 lead to end the Khimik resistance.

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