VTB United League: CSKA Moscow loses

VTB United LeagueVTB United League champions CSKA Moscow had the chance to make up ground on the leading pack, but with games in hand the Russian giant was shocked by Nizhny Novgorod on the road. CSKA’s loss means that other vying for first position in the league could pull ahead of the Moscow giant, who will undoubtedly be in the mix at the end of the season regardless.

CEZ Nymburk continued its impressive early season form with victory over Astana and Khimki Moscow Region, arguably CSKA’s biggest threat long term, also stayed on track with a win over Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd.

Nizhny Novgorod vs. CSKA Moscow, 86-82
Nizhny Novgorod handed CSKA Moscow its first defeat of the season by outlasting the VTB United League champs at home. Nizhny really dug in for the victory too, edging the giants of CSKA after an overtime period.

The teams were locked 29-29 after the first half and then again after 40 minutes the score was tied at 74 apiece, a tight game reflected by 8 lead changes and 10 ties. The hosts looked to their bench for scoring power, with Nizhny’s supplements hit 57 points in total, while Nizhny was far more balanced in taking 40 from the starters and 42 points from the bench. In the extra frame the Novgorod contingent put the game to bed by edging CSKA Moscow 12-8.

Victory saw the home team move above CSKA in the VTB United League standings with a 4-1 record, while Moscow’s first loss keeps them in fifth on a 3-1 record, still with a game in hand.

Khimki Moscow Region vs. Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd, 97-86
Khimki showed off its credentials again with a high scoring display to see off visiting Krasny Oktyabr at home. Victory sent the hosts to a tie for third place with a 4-1 record, while Krasny’s terrible start to the campaign continued as they dropped to one from last place with a 1-4 record.

The visitors unloaded 49 points on Khimki in the first half, but the hosts kept pace to the tune of 48 points, but still Krasny had a slender 1 point lead. Another 49 points from Khimki in the second half saw the home team pull away from the guests of Volgograd. A balanced Khimki attack saw the starters score 49 points and the bench chip in with 48 points, while the game was settled in the paint with Khimki scoring 34 points and Krasny not securing a single point in the mix.

Tyrese Rice led Khimki with 25 points and 10 assists in a double-double performance.

Jordan Hamilton hit 24 points in losing, while D.J. Cooper had a double-double of 13 points and 11 boards.

CEZ Nymburk vs. BC Astana, 79-61
Nymburk’s impressive start to the VTB United League season is becoming something more than luck and the Czech champions are emerging as genuine dark horses. This cruising victory over Astana means that Nymburk stay in second place with a 4-1 record, while Astana’s form has crumbled and the team sits at 1-3.

The hosts were red hot in the first half and held a 22-9 lead through ten minutes and maintained its advantage despite Astana improving through the second and third acts. In the fourth Nymburk went up a gear again with a 22-10 run that sealed the win. The hosts looked to a massive 60 points from starting players and Nymburk led throughout the contest, and by as much as 18 points.

Chasson Randle and Vojtech Hruban both topped Nymburk with 18 points.

Kenneth Hayes scored 22 points, while Niklas Caner-Madley had an impressive double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds.

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