Russia: Defense Key For Khimki Chances

06.04.2006

BC Khimki's Venezuelan international Oscar Torres is loud and clear about what his side must do to beat fellow Russians Dynamo St Petersburg in the EuroCup Final Four.

"We need to play 100% defense," Torres said to PA Sport. "That is much more important than the offense. Everybody (for St Petersburg) can score more than 20 points. So we have to play good defense as a team.

"Also their bench players can shoot from three-point range, so we can't relax when the starters are out."

Kelly Mc Carty (Dynamo St. Petersburg)
Torres is out to put the defensive shackles on Dynamo's Kelly Mc Carty
Khimki, who lost to Dynamo in a FIBA Europe League semi-final last season, have split their two meetings against them in the Superleague this campaign.

Last year, Kelly McCarty was instrumental for Dynamo and was voted Final Four MVP.

That is the player the 29-year-old Torres must stop.

"He's the most important player on the team," Torres said of McCarty, who averages 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

"Coach (Serguei Elevich) talks to me all the time that we need 100% defense against McCarty.

He says I if play good defense, we have a very good chance to win the game."

Torres and his team-mates were unable to stop McCarty in their Russian league encounter three weeks ago as the American torched them for 27 points in St Petersburg's 81-69 triumph over Khimki.

"We played terrible on offense," Torres said of the loss at Dynamo. "We were okay on defence. But they won the game because we couldn't do anything on offense."

Torres has led Elevich's team in the EuroCup this season with an average of 14.7 points.

He is the second best rebounder with 6.5 and has a team-high 1.6 steals per game.

Torres has been less productive over the past three EuroCup games - just 17 total points.

Nevertheless, he says he and his Khimki team-mates are geared up for the big game.

"Right now everybody looks ready for the Final Four," he said. "We're working really hard in practice. Obviously the first game is the most important. We have to win it to play in the final."

And Torres said full concentration will be very important - especially on defense.

He said: "We still need to improve our defense in the rotation. When we double the point guard, we need to have good rotation and get to the shooters."

Torres, who will play for Venezuela at the FIBA World Championship in Japan later this year, said a Final Four crown would be amazing.

"It would be the best because this team is here for the second time in two years after never playing in FIBA or any other European league before - only the Russian league."


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