VTB League Aftermath: Khimki shows big sharp teeth before playoffs

24/Apr/17 17:33 April 25, 2017

Antonis Stroggylakis

24/Apr/17 17:33

Eurohoops.net

The VTB League regular season is finished and we are picking the MVP, Best Five squad and Coach of the Week of the last set of games before the playoffs.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

During the last lap of the VTB League regular season, all eyes were set on the game between Enisey and Khimki Moscow. The latter needed a road victory to clinch the third spot in the standings and that’s what they got, in a rather intimidating fashion actually.

This result also “locked” fourth place for Lokomotiv Kuban and a big match-up coming in the playoffs between the team from Krasnodar and fifth Unics Kazan.

It’s only natural that two players in our Aftermath wear the Khimki jersey while two of the most prolific scorers of the league and one big guy with authoritative presence inside the paint, compile the rest of our Top 5 squad.

MVP of the Week:

EJ Rowland (Khimki Moscow)

The mission of Khimki Moscow on the road against Enisey was far from easy but Rowland helped immensely to set the pace for a powerful offensive that ultimately allowed his squad a convincing win. 19 points on really solid shooting of 8/11 from the field, 6 rebounds, 5 assists for the American guard who finished the match as top performer (along with Marko Todorovic) on the floor with a game-high 27 in PIR.

Best Five of the Week:

EJ Rowland (Khimki Moscow)

The maestro in Khimki’s crucial win over Enisey.

Ryan Toolson (Zenit St. Petersburg)

The result of the final game of the regular season wouldn’t change anything in the standings and would’ve been quickly forgotten if not for Ryan Toolson’s performance. The American shooting guard posted an overall career high of 37 points (14/26 from the field, 3/3 from the line), leading Zenit to a hard-earned road victory against Kalev Tallinn.

Nick Minnerath (Avtodor Saratov)

Entering the last match of Avtodor Saratov in the season, Minnerath needed only 12 points to secure the crown of the VTB League Scoring Champion. Well, he proceeded to score… almost thrice as much, finishing with 35 as his squad said “farewell” in style, by beating VEF Riga at home. It was his second-best performance during a season in which he introduced himself to VTB in a quite impressive manner.

Kevin Jones (Lokomotiv Kuban)

His double-double of 16 points/12 rebounds sparked Lokomotiv Kuban towards victory over Tsmoki Minsk in Krasnodar. Although the outcome of this match would change little, since Loko already knew that it’d finish fourth in the standings following Khimki’s win vs Enisey, Jones made sure that his team would close the regular season in a positive manner.

Marko Todorovic (Khimki Moscow)

Also an MVP contender for the last Week of the VTB League regular season. Todorovic notched the same PIR (27) as Rowland, after dropping 15 points on perfect shooting (6/6 field goals, 3/3 free throws) and grabbing 6 rebounds in Tallinn.

Coach of the Week: Dusko Ivanovic (Khimki Moscow)

Ivanovic presented a “ready to bite” group of players in Krasnoyark, against Enisey that was coming from five consecutive victories. Khimki was extremely aggressive right from the start, making its intentions quite obvious and never allowing its opponents to fight back. Instead, they were dictating everything that transpired on the floor, relaxing only when they had build a margin that was large enough to give them safety in the final stretch. A most impressive offensive performances of the team, in a key battle, against one of the most pleasant surprises in the league this year.

The last word: It’s playoffs time!

CSKA Moscow – Astana, Zenit St. Petersburg – VEF Riga, Khimki Moscow – Enisey and Lokomotiv Kuban – Unics Kazan. These are the pairs of the VTB League playoffs that begin on May 1st with the first match of Zenit against VEF Riga.