Valencia Basket has just made an impressive game away at Khimki Moscow, managing very well the last minutes of the encounter. It was a derby of two eternal Eurocup forces, who are moved their rivalry in the Euroleague this season. Surprisingly, the battle was very balanced in spite of the absences of big men Mike Tobey and Bojan Dublevic, who couldn’t help Valencia in the paint. But even so, the visitors dominated the rebounding race with 34-28.
The game was very interesting also because had some unusual stats at the halftime. Valencia Basket made only 2 fouls in the first part of the game and in the same time had no free-throws attempted, while Khimki Moscow Region made 5 fouls beneficiating by only 1 free-throw. It was a first half of the purest offense from both sides, which ended with 47-44 for the home team. But the second part of the encounter was totally different, poor in scoring due to a great defense. Valencia Basket scored 40 points in the second half, including a 9-0 run in the last 3 minutes and 26 seconds.
Khimki was reduced to only 28 points in these periods of time, not being able to find any way to the basket. Many times they had to force the shot in the last second of the attack because simply they didn’t build any decent moves in the offense. They looked like a junior team without solutions in front of a good defense. At this chapter, Valencia Basket showed better chemistry, by moving the ball at the right time and playing a clever game. They overcame Khimki not only at rebounding, but as well at assists (19-15) and I think these were small details that won the game, together with a better percentage from the arc. The Spanish squad had 12/29 while the Russians only 8/30 from the 3 point line. Bu the most visible chapter was the index rate, highly superior for the visitors: 104 to only 77.
Valencia Basket proved a better group cohesion and as well the fact that budgets and standings in the Euroleague can be overturned.