CSKA Moscow ends Euroleague China Tour in style

CSKA Moscow2016 Euroleague champ CSKA Moscow flexed its muscles again ahead of the 2016/2017 season with another blistering win in the Euroleague China Tour. The Moscow giant was a dominant force in Europe last season and has looked hugely impressive during preseason. In China, the Russians have been unstoppable and on Friday took out Guangdong Tigers 75-101 in Shenzhen.

Defending the Euroleague is never an easy task. However, CSKA Moscow has perhaps the toughest of all title defenses on the way in the 2016/2017 campaign. This will be an historic Euroleague season which will start with a group phase that will see every club play each other. In other words, to claim Europe’s biggest price this season, you have to face every major club on the continent.

Judging the team’s performances in China, CSKA is heading into the season in sharp form.

The Tigers actually looked good in front of a strong crowd, taking a 13-5 lead on the back of an 11 point combination from Zhu Fangyu and Tommy Mitchell. CSKA soon warmed into the game when Milos Teodosic took to the hardwood. The ticking of the scoreboard started to move more frequently for the Russians and through 10 minutes Moscow led 21-25.

That was really as good as it got for Guangdong. The Army Men found their rhythm in the second frame and wrestled all the momentum. Teodosic was running the show with some massive assists that got the crowd on its feet. The guests used a 0-9 run to head into the halftime rest with a commanding 34-49 lead.

CSKA had wind in its sails now and soared ahead in the third act. The visitors controlled the floor during the quarter, scoring 11 points without reply to close out the stanza. Through thirty minutes the scoreboard read 53-75 and CSKA Moscow was in cruise control. To make it emphatic, the Euroleague giant raced down the straight with an exhibition display in the fourth quarter.

Euroleague MVP Nando De Colo once again led the charge for CSKA, this time scoring 20 points, 16 of them landing in the first half. The Russians rested Cory Higgins and Kyle Hines, but still looked formidable. Nikita Kurbanov and Vitaly Fridzon netted 12 points apiece, while James Augustine had a memorable third quarter in which he scored all of his 10 points.

Zhao Rui had 19 points for Guangdong, Donald Sloan managed 15 points, and Dong Hanlin 14 in defeat.

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