VTB League: CSKA, Zenit, and Khimki make semis

VTB League

Three clubs progressed to the semi-finals of the VTB League, leaving just one Quarter-Finals series left to be decided. CSKA Moscow, Khimki Moscow Region, and Zenit St. Petersburg made it to the semis, knowing they are a series away from the finals.

One of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Unics Kazan will have to wait for the same luxury, as both teams are still fighting it out.

Unics vs. Lokomotiv, 71-83

Lokomotiv collected a massive VTB League road win over Unics to take a 2-1 lead in the last remaining Quarter-Finals series. The best of three run could be decided on Friday, provided Lokomotiv can win again on the road. In this game, the visitors made it count in the second quarter. After a 19-19 first, the Krasnodar contingent won Q2 19-27 and never looked back. The win was paced by Taylor Rochestie with 21 points.

Astana vs. CSKA Moscow, 73-91

Reigning five-time VTB League champs and Regular Season winners CSKA Moscow showed why they are favourites for the title. The current EuroLeague champion crushed BC Astana to sweep its series and enter the last four. The win rarely looked in doubt as the Army Men cruised to a 25-44 lead through the long break. Astana won the third, but CSKA surged again in the fourth act. Nando De Colo dropped 18 points and dished 8 assists in the win.

Editor’s Note: If you want more information about the VTB United League, or other international leagues, you can check out Court Side’s Game Center.

Enisey vs. Khimki Moscow Region, 68-89

Khimki put over 20 points on Enisey to record a comfortable road success that won the series 3-0. It was close in a high-octane first quarter, but the visitors edged it 21-22. With the momentum, Khimki won the second 18-27 for a solid 39-49 halftime advantage. A 16-23 third frame extended the lead to 55-72 through thirty minutes. The fourth quarter was a formality as Khimki eased to victory. Alexey Shved scored 22 points in the win.

VEF Riga vs. Zenit St. Petersburg, 51-92

VEF Riga was the surprise package in the Regular Season, but the Latvian club has been undone in the playoffs. The gulf in class was in evidence in Game 3 as Zenit crushed the Riga club on its own floor. This huge win sent the St. Petersburg team into the next round. A mid-game collapse saw the hosts score just 18 points over the second and third quarters. Zenit drained 39 points in that time, and it proved to be the deciding factor.

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