VTB United League, CSKA Moscow opens season

VTB United LeagueRound 2 of the VTB United League regular season was completed on Thursday with three contests, including reigning champions CSKA Moscow getting their campaign under way. The champs had a stroll on the road to Vita Tbilisi to open the win account for the season with a crushing victory.

In the other games, Avtodor Saratov overcame Nizhny Novgorod in overtime to make up for its loss during round 1, while Enisey Krasnoyarsk got its first win with a narrow road win over VEF Riga in Latvia.

Vita Tbilisi vs. CSKA Moscow, 60-93
CSKA is once again the club to beat in the VTB United League this season and the winners of the last five seasons showed why again. Indeed, this crushing road success showed that there is a huge gulf in class between some of the teams and the Euroleague giants from Moscow. The starting five for the home teams simply didn’t produce, scoring just nine points during the contest, leaving the bench to pick up the slack (a clear tactic by Coach Pavel Googe that failed). CSKA looked far more even across the roster and never looked in doubt as the team closed out a 33 point victory.

Nando De Colo led the winning effort with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Vitaliy Fridzon managed 17 points and Aaron Jackson 10 points with 8 boards.

Pierria Henry led Tbilisi with 20 points and 7 assists, while Darius Carter offered 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Avtodor vs. Nizhny Novgorod, 94-86
Avtodor Saratov needed overtime to put away Nizhny for good at home in the VTB United League, using a 13-5 run to book end the game. The hosts won the first frame 28-23 but watched as Nizhny reeled off the next three quarters to tie the game 81-81 through regulation, before Avtodor sprung back into action to seal the win. The home team led by as much as 16 points, but the Novgorod contingent kept fighting back into the contest to make life difficult. Avtodor head coach Brad Greenberg will be happy with the performance of his starting five as they combined for 77 points during the game.

VEF Riga vs. Enisey, 71-73
A close game in Latvia saw hosts VEF Riga fall by two points to Enisey Krasnoyarsk, in a contest that saw eleven lead changes as they teams traded buckets on the hardwood. The biggest lead was just seven points as the teams went head to head, with Enisey emerging with a 33-34 lead through halftime. A tied third quarter made it a nail biting fourth act, which the visitors claimed 18-19 to edge the win; a victory that was built in the mix, with 26 points coming in the paint for the winners.

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