VTB League Wednesday roundup

VTB League Nizhny Novgorod and Lietuvos Rytas both progressed to the semi-finals of the VTB League after winning their respective series’ on Wednesday.

Russian club Nizhny defeated Khimky 84-64 at home after another amazing performance to sweep its series 3-0. Lietuvos Rytas too swept its series by gunning down Triumph Lyubertsy 87-97 on the road to progress to the next stage. Both clubs now await the outcome of Thursday’s VTB League games to see if any other clubs will join them at the final four phase. Lokomotiv Kuban will play host to CSKA Moscow looking to sweep that series, while Unics Kazan will look to win its series without defeat when travelling to Krasnie Krilya.

Triumph Lyubertsy vs. Lietuvos Rytas, 87-97
Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas will contest the VTB League semi-final after outlasting Russian outfit Lyubertsy to seal a series sweep.

The hosts took an early lead in the game, outpacing Rytas through the first ten minutes to command a 20-16 lead after the first frame. Rytas responded confidently in the second quarter to score 29 points and create a 5 point shift, taking a lead of 45-44 at halftime. The visitors increased their lead further with an impressive third quarter that resulted in 27 points and put the scoreboard at 72-64. The eight point advantage heading into the final frame proved enough for Rytas as the team once again outscored Triumph to secure the win and progression to the next stage.

Juan Palacios notched 22 points for the winners, while Stevan Jelovac scored 20 points and Darius Songaila had 15.

Kyle Landry hit 22 points for the defeated team and Eugeny Voronov logged 16.

Nizhny Novgorod vs. Khimky Moscow Region, 84-64
Nizhny will join Rytas in the semi-final after routing Khimky to win a series which has been dominated by the Novgorod club. It has been a sensational three games from the team as they overcame hot favourites Khimky at home in this game and more importantly on the road in Games 1 and 2.

Considering the manner and scoreline of the eventual result, the fact that Khimky started much the better team will surprise many. Even more surprising is the fact the Moscow club dominated throughout the first half and was leading 37-31 heading into the locker room at halftime. The third period proved the catalyst for Nizhny Novgorod’s success as the hosts exploded and put together a staggering 25-9 run that left the visitors reeling. The home team continued to press and hit a massive 28 points in the last frame to stun Khimky and win the game by 20 points.

Dijon Thompson paced Nizhny with a game high 20 points, while Semen Antonov secured 16 points and Taylor Rochestie scored 13.

Kresimir Loncar logged 17 for the shocked Khimky and was followed by Petteri Koponen with 13 points.

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