By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can see in the league standings there’s a crowd between the 7th and the 11th position with VEF Riga, Nizhny Novgorod and PARMA basket Perm being tied at 7-13, Tsmoki-Minsk following at 7-14 and Astana (photo) at 6-15 after losing to Unics Kazan losing crucial ground.
However, only Kalev Talin with a 6-17 record is mathematically out of the playoffs so far and the race is heating up. Still, one thing will be remembered from this past week and it was an amazing shot.
Playing without Alexey Shved, Khimki Moscow Region was at the ropes on the road against Tsmoki-Minsk. Markovic finished the game with just six points and five assists but the point is that he gave his team the win thanks to this amazing shot.
It’s obvious that Andrey Zubkov had a hell of a game with 22 points and Christofer Czerapowicz with 33 almost led Tsmoki-Minsk to an amazing win. However, MVP means most valuable and the shot that Markovic made was priceless.
Avtodor’s big step
This was not a good week for Tsmoki-Minsk in general. In the next and ever more crucial games, the Belarusians fell to Avtodor Saratov. The final score was 104-82, Branden Frazier scored a career-high 25 points in the VTB League, while Coty Clarke contributed 24.
After this result, the winners have practically qualified for the playoffs thanks to a 10-9 record. On the other hand, Minsk after two defeats is in real trouble and will have to fight until the end with no advantage against its competitors for the last two open spots.
Unics Kazan can still hope
CSKA Moscow is getting the job done and became the first team to reach 20 wins on the season. The only team that still has a chance to catch up with the “Army Team” is Unics Kazan. Both teams have only two defeats so far, but Unics has 18 wins.
Things could be worse for them against Astana. However, Unics came back after losing by 19 points and claimed the 90-75 win. Astana’s Anthony Clemmons and Ike Udanoh provided this amazing dunk, but it’s little consolation for the 5th straight defeat of their team.
Final Four is coming!
The VTB United League will have its first every Final Four this season. With the prize for the champion being not only the trophy but also a spot in the EuroLeague – except of course in the case of CSKA Moscow – things are going to be really hot at the VTB Ice Palace.