Zalgiris clinched the third spot in the VTB United League inaugural
season. The Kaunas team held off Khimky in the consolation final
Marcus Brown (193-G-74, agency:
Higher Vision Sports, college:
Murray St.), Mantas Kalnietis and Dainius Salenga ensured a perfect
start for the Lithuanian team. Zalgiris grabbed a 7:0 lead and
maintained it well throughout the opening frame.
Marcus Brown and
Martynas Pocius (196-G-86, agency:
capped the first quarter with five points in a row as Zalgiris enjoyed a
24:12 lead into the second quarter. Aleksandar Capin fired quick five
points at the start of the second frame as Zalgiris secured a 15-point
advantage. However Khimky reacted with 16:2 run to cut the deficit to a
single point. Vitaly Fridzon soon drew things level before Dainius
Salenga fired from downtown to give Zalgiris a 38:35 advantage at
halftime. Raul Lopez and Mozgov helped Khimky surge in front 44:38 in
the third term. But Zalgiris managed to eke out a 54:53 advantage with
one quarter to go. Salenga and
Martynas Pocius boosted the margin at 7-point mark with just over
three minutes remaining.
Martynas Pocius then followed with a three-pointer as the gap grew
to 10 points.
Kansas) and Vitaly Fridzon cut the margin at 5 points but it was as
close as Khimky could get. Zalgiris stayed calm and celebrated the
victory at the end.
Martynas Pocius finished with 26 points to lead Zalgiris.
Marcus Brown added 15 points for the winning team.
Keith Langford answered with 20 points for Khimky. Vitaly Fridzon
tossed in 13 points in the loss.
CSKA won the inaugural VTB United League title. They held off Unics in
the championship game in Kaunas today. The teams opened the game trading
baskets. Pops Mensah-Bonsu and
J.R. Holden (185-G-76, college:
Bucknell) finally allowed CSKA to clear off as they ensured a 15:10
Maciej Lampe (210-C-85) had the last word in the opening frame as he
put Unics behind by three points 14:17.
J.R. Holden and
Sasha Kaun (211-C-85) helped CSKA to clear off again in the second
period. CSKA built a 30:23 lead. Siskauskas scored 4 points in an 8:0
run from the Moscow team as they enjoyed a 39:23 advantage late in the
half. Veremeenko capped the second frame with a jumper to put Unics
behind by 14 points 25:39. Trajan Langdon, Siskauskas and
Sasha Kaun began the second half from where they left in the first.
Trajan Langdon accounted for quick 9 points as CSKA boosted the lead at
Maciej Lampe stopped the bleeding and Unics get a bit closer. They
headed into the fourth frame down by 13 points.
Maciej Lampe, Kroncar and Samoylenko opened the final stanza with
six points in a row to spark the intrigue. Lyday and
Maciej Lampe dragged Unics within 4 points with just over 4 minutes
remaining. However CSKA came up with a tremendous defensive effort in
the reminder of the contest keeping Unics scoreless and securing a
confident win at the end.
J.R. Holden and
Sasha Kaun knocked down 16 points each to lead CSKA. Trajan Langdon
added 9 points in the winning effort.
Maciej Lampe answered with 21 points and 6 boards for Unics. Marko
Popovic and Kresimir Loncar accounted for 10 points apiece in the loss.
J.R. Holden was named the MVP of the Final Four. Marko Popovic,
Vitaly Fridzon, Martynas Pocius, Maciej Lampe and Sasha Kaun made up the
Final Four Top Team.
CSKA - Khimky
CSKA became the first finalist of the VTB-League. They held off rivals
Khimky in the first semifinal game in Kaunas today.
Zoran Planinic (199-G-82) knocked down 16 points to pace balanced
offensive effort from CSKA. The Russian champions earned a 14:5 lead
early in the encounter. Khimky went on a rescue mission. They exploded
with an 18:3 run bridging the first and second frames. Khimky surged
ahead but CSKA stopped the bleeding and restored the advantage. Khimky
did not say die and finished the half on a positive note. They grabbed a
33:29 lead at the interval. Khimky stretched the margin at 11-point mark
early in the third quarter. However Ponkrashov fired twice from beyond
the arc to reignite CSKA. They denied the deficit and drew things level
at 53 heading into the fourth quarter. CSKA continued to roll and
ensured a 7-point lead in the final stanza. Khimky could not get closer
than 3 points throughout the rest of the game.
Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) scored 13 points and grabbed 7
rebounds for CSKA. J.R. Holden contributed 11 points in the victory.
Vitaly Fridzon responded with 16 points for Khimky. Keith Langford had
14 points in the losing effort.
Unics - Zalgiris
Unics made it to the VTB United League championship game. The Russian
outfit outgunned Zalgiris in Kaunas tonight. The Lithuanian team will
play against Khimky in the consolation final tomorrow. Zalgiris got to
the better start taking a 7:2 lead. Unics responded with 13:0 run to
surge ahead. Unics ran past shocked hosts to ensure a 20:17 lead at the
first break. However Mirza Begic opened the second quarter with four
points in a row to put Zalgiris back in charge. The teams traded baskets
and the lead changed hands several times in the second stanza.
(210-F-83) knocked down a late basket to put Unics up by one 36:35 at
the interval. Unics stepped up in the third stanza.
Kresimir Loncar amd
S.Idaho JC) helped the visitors took a 53:40 lead. Dainius Salenga
answered for Zalgiris but Unics went into the final break ahead by 11
points 55:44. Capin and Marcus Brown dragged Zalgiris within 7 points
early in the fourth frame but Unics reacted quickly. The Russian
powerhouse restored a 13-point buffer and did not give a single chance
for Zalgiris in the reminder of the contest.
Kresimir Loncar top-scored for the winners with 20 points and 7
Marko Popovic followed him with 12 points and 7 caroms as Unics will
take on CSKA on January 22nd. Tadas Klimavicius responded with 17 points
and 7 rebounds in defeat, while Dainius Salenga produced 15. Mirza Begic
and Pocus ended up with 10 points in the losing effort.
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