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Russia: Elevich Worried About Khimki Focus

20 March 2006

BC Khimki coach Serguei Elevich has serious concerns about his players' mental state ahead of their participation in the EuroCup Final Four at the start of next month.

Khimki were comprehensively beaten 98-79 by CSKA Moscow on Saturday as the latter stamped their authority on Russia's Superleague.

Elevich's side fell 32-22 behind by the end of the first quarter and could not claw their way back into the game.

With the Final Four just over two weeks away, Elevich was alarmed to see his team - who remain second in the domestic standings - struggle so badly on the mental front.

"We prepared seriously for this game," he said. "We've thoroughly looked into the CSKA performance against Lietuvos Rytas (in the Euroleague) but we couldn't fulfil our plan.

"Our players are just burned out psychologically. CSKA played the game at higher level and their reserve players were stronger than ours."

Khimki will meet Dynamo St Petersburg in the semi-final of the Final Four on April 7 in Kyiv.

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