CSKA Moscow a step closer to VTB success

CSKA MoscowCSKA Moscow is once again on the verge of being champions of the VTB League after thwarting Unics Kazan’s in leg 2 of the best of 5 finals run. The Army Men are capping a wonderful season which of course included the Euroleague title back in May. The finals run is looking increasingly like a procession for the club to write a new chapter in the history books.

Indeed, CSKA Moscow has stood up to the test of huge improvements by the likes of Unics Kazan, Khimki Moscow Region, and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. In the face of those challengers CSKA has put on one of its most complete seasons ever, dropping just two Regular Season games on the way to success.

Since the inception of the VTB League in 2008, CSKA has won all but one title (2008), claiming 6 titles overall and now likely five consecutively. It is uncharted dominance, even for the Moscow giant, and the gulf was on show during leg 2 of the final.

CSKA Moscow controlled Game 2 and took a 90-77 win Unics Kazan was not poor at all, but the team simply couldn’t keep up with a superior CSKA outfit, but the Army Men were made to work hard across a game that saw 14 lead changes in total. The Moscow club edged a high scoring first stanza with a 27-23 run, before taking the second frame 22-17 for a 49-40 lead through the long break.

It was that first half that caused the damage for Unics Kazan, with the underdogs rallying in the third act with a 16-22 winning act that made it 65-62 after thirty minutes on the floor. That comeback had reduced the deficit, but it pushed CSKA back into top gear, the defending champs using a 25-15 run in the fourth quarter to pull away down the straight.

Viktor Khryapa topped the win from the bench, highlighting CSKA’s strength in depth with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Aaron Jackson scored 12 points, while Nando De Colo, Kyle Hines, and Milos Teodosic all plundered 11 points.

Keith Langford scored 15 points in the losing effort, followed by Artsiom Parakhouski with 13 points.

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