VTB: Unics and Khimki keep pace

VTBWith VTB United League leaders CSKA Moscow playing tomorrow, it was the chance for the chasing pack to play catch up on Valentine’s Day. Second placed Unics Kazan and third placed Khimki Moscow Region were not in the loving mood as they made short work of their opponents to keep the pressure on the Army Men at the top of the standings.

Khimki Moscow Region vs. BC Astana, 128-87
Khimki schooled Astana in every aspect on Sunday to consolidate third place in the VTB United League with a 15-4 records. The hosts were simply sensational, propelled by ferocious scoring from Egor Vyaltsev, who dropped 40 points to pace the win.

Khimki led from start to finish, winning the game in the key area with 60 points in the paint. While controlling huge spells of the game, Khimki did it bursts and extended throughout the contest in an onslaught that simply meant Astana rarely had space to breathe on the hardwood. Khimki’s bench, fuelled by Vyaltsev really stepped up, plundering 84 points in the win.

Tyrese Rice was not at his scoring best, but he still kept Khimki cooking in attack with 17 scoring passes, while Zoran Dragic added 16 points and Josh Boone 14 points and 8 rebounds.

A demolished Astana was led by Kyrylo Natyazhko with 18 points, followed by Kenneth Hayes with 16 points, and Jerry Johnson with 14 points.

Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd vs. Unics Kazan, 70-97
Unics continued its formidable form with a cruising road win in Volgograd, dispatching Krasny Oktyabr with minimum fuss to extend its winning run to 13 games. The Kazan contingent was simply consistent from opening tip-off to closing buzzer, hitting the bucket with regularity throughout. The hosts could not deal with the Unics offence, especially the Kazan started who combined for 62 points.

Joaquim Colom set the tone with 21 points in the win, while Keith Langford logged 19 points, and Konstantinos Kaimakoglou added 16 points.

Travis Peterson scored 17 points to lead the losing effort.

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