CSKA Moscow beats Khimki to reach VTB finals

CSKA MoscowCSKA Moscow has won the right to defend its title in the VTB League finals series after overcoming Khimki Moscow Region in the semifinal series. The current Euroleague champs eased into the finals in surprisingly serene fashion considering this was a tricky Khimki team that reached the championship decider last year.

However, CSKA Moscow swept the series 3-0, which is what the history books will say. In actual fact, the games were all about fine margins, and so it proved in Game 3 as CSKA punched its ticket with a narrow 92-95 victory.

The Army men will now have the opportunity to win a sixth consecutive VTB League title and make the 2015/2016 season a truly memorable one. The club will await its opponent from Unics Kazan and Zenit St. Petersburg.

As for Khimki, this is a poor closing to the season. The club has amassed a good roster and is a dangerous opponent, although there is a feeling that the team has slipped at important points. The Moscow club will have to keep its players together and go again next season.

Khimki Moscow Region vs. CSKA Moscow, 92-95

The first quarter saw CSKA catch Khimki cold and punish the hosts to the tune of a 15-24 lead through ten minutes. With Khimki needing a win to stay alive in the campaign, the home team rallied in the second frame and drained 33 points to wrestle the lead through the long break. The host led 48-45 emerging from the locker room, but CSKA retook the momentum in the third act with a 23-31 run that made it 71-76 through thirty minutes. An up and down encounter swung back to Khimki in the fourth, but CSKA’s 30 points in the third quarter paid off as the visitors held on late for the win.

Euroleague MVP Nando De Colo was at his best as he plundered 24 points and handed 5 assists. Milos Teodosic added 19 points and 7 scoring passes, while Aaron Jackson offered 17 points.

Tyrese Rice topped Khimki with 24 points and Zoran Dragic scored 20 points. Alexy Shved was named the best Russian player of the VTB League this season before the game and then scored 12 points.

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