BC Khimki will square off against Valencia in this year’s Eurocup final after they won an all-Russian clash with Spartak St. Petersburg 77-73.

The hosts got off to a fast start, leading 27-14 after the first ten minutes, but were pegged back from the pre-finals favourites to 42-38 at half-time. Khimki though had the firepower at the end, scoring the final four points to claim a spot in tomorrow’s final.

The game was tied at 73 with Spartak’s Vladirmir Dragicevic cancelling out a two by Sergey Monya. Foul shots by Kresimir Loncar and a two from Zoran Planinic settled the game.

Vitaly Fridzon led the winners with 16 points, Kresimir Loncar hit 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

“First of all, I am happy that we won. It was a tough game. We thought it would be beforehand, because it’s the third time we play Spartak and all the games were the same,” Khimki coach Rimas Kurtinaitis said.

Despite the win, there were moments that made the home fans nervous, especially Kurtinaitis: “Giving up the lead this season we have had this problem. Usually we lead after the first two quarters. Some games like this we led by a lot like this, or in the quarter-finals against Lokomotiv had a advantage in the series and fell behind again.”

Eurocup MVP Patrick Beverley hit 15 points as did Israeli Yotam Halperin for Spartak St. Petersburg.

After a 10-0 run to end the first quarter, Khimki maintained their double-digit lead at 32-18 thanks to a Mickael Gelabele score. Spartak hit back, and a triple from Victor Keyru reduced the deficit to 40-34. By the time half-time came around, they were only down by four.

The third quarter though belonged to Spartak, Beverley hit a three and another triple from Halperin tied the game at 44 early in the third. Khimki’s shots were not dropping as their opponents kept scoring. A three-point play from Beverley gave his side a 53-49 advantage as Khimki struggled to match St. Petersburg’s aggressive approach, something that was lacking in the first ten minutes of play.

The hosts though found their feet and a strong fourth quarter, helped by Beverley sitting on the bench on four fouls was enough for the win.

“I don’t know what happened, man,” Beverley said. “I am still trying to get my thoughts together. It was a great game, amazing game. But they shot the ball extremely well.”