Valencia Basket defeated Khimki at home (68-77) and maintains its options to enter the top-8 of the Euroleague heading to the quarter-final tie. The set of Jaume Ponsarnau, led by Derrick Williams (18 points and four rebounds) and Mike Tobey (12 and 9), lived on the income accumulated in their forceful staging (19-35, m. 13) and managed with solvency the development of the match against the bottom of the competition. With the victory, Valencia equals the 16 victories of Baskonia and Zenit (with one game less) in the fight for eighth place, to one of Madrid, seventh. Bayern, Olympiacos, Alba and Baskonia are the four rivals that Valencia has left to close the regular phase.
Valencia Basket fulfilled its obligation to win on bottom side Khimki (68-77), but lost Sam Van Rossom due to a right ankle injury. Ponsarnau’s team showed from the beginning their imperative need to win the match. With Van Rossom and Nikola Kalinic distributing and an energetic Derrick Williams executing, the visitors opened a gap on the scoreboard against an opponent who contributed three triples and little more (13-22 m. 8). McCollum’s entry gave the Russian team a clear offensive benchmark, but not particularly successful, which allowed Valencia, with a solid rotation, to open the gap and take their advantage to sixteen points. The ease with which he controlled the game made Valencia lose some tension and the local defense of the locals, his better circulation in attack and Karasev’s triples narrowed the score until Jaume Ponsarnau stopped the crash to save some of the rent before break (38-44, m. 20).
The panorama did not change in the resumption and Valencia the local zone kept the pulsations low in attack. Van Rossom’s management prevented the paralysis from being total and a couple of his actions and some defensive improvement allowed him to refill his mattress a bit before the fourth quarter. But seconds before the change of quarters, Van Rossom had to retire after a nasty sprained right ankle. The good entry of Martin Hermannsson on the track gave Valencia confidence, which in a couple of minutes took their advantage to maximums (52-71, m. 33), but it was not enough to break the crash. Khimki, without pressure, did not collapse, he pressed something in defense and fed Jordan Mickey, and that allowed him to enter in the last minutes with the option of winning and getting Valencia in trouble with a 16-2 run ( 68-73, m. 39). The failures occurred on both sides of the court and two rebounds from Mike Tobey, a couple of actions from Hermannsson and a hat from Williams cleared the way to the sixteenth Valencian victory, which can be very valuable but also include a high bill in the Van Rossom’s ankle.