CSKA Moscow tops Unics in VTB clash
The VTB United League “saved the best for last”, at least that was the case for Round 15 of 2016-17 regular season action when the top two teams collided in an epic game. CSKA Moscow and Unics Kazan took to the hardwood to settle which team would take solo leadership of the VTB League. After a relatively close start, CSKA Moscow would turn up the heat and torch their hosts from downtown to come away with the 91-105 win.
With the win, CSKA Moscow improves to an impressive 11-1 record, and with it they sit atop of the league standings. They may be a Titan in the European basketball scene, but they have some stiff competition in the VTB League. Both Lokomotiv Kuban and Unics Kazan (10-2) are merely one game behind. Just one misstep by Moscow could mean a reversal in fortunes and we could see a new team that will lead the pack. Zenit and Khimky also bagged wins in this round. Both teams are at 9-3. Zenit crushed Parma on the road, 86-119; while Khimky downed Astana 83-66.
CSKA Moscow had to dig deep to come away with this win on the road against a tough team. They were missing the services of star point guard Milos Teodosic, who did not travel with the team to Kazan. Despite the absence of their main playmaker, CSKA Moscow managed to still execute their offense quite well, and pulled away from their hosts in the second and third quarters on some solid shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. CSKA Moscow shot an astounding 15-of-24 shots from deep, compared to 10-of-24 by Unics.
Frenchman Nando de Colo stepped up nicely to offset the absence of Teodosic. He quarterbacked the CSKA Moscow offense with precision, finishing with double-double performance of 17 points, 11 assists, four treys, and four steals. Unics’ Keith Langford would end up with a game-high 25 points, but his effort would not be enough to help Unics cut enough into CSKA Moscow’s lead in the fourth and final frame.
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