By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
With the VTB United League regular season reaching its final stretch, aside from the top four teams that secured some ‘room to breathe’ in the standings, seven teams have been entangled in a close race for the remaining playoff spots. And Week 20 didn’t make it much clearer.
Nizhny Novgorod has also been among the teams in the middle of the fight for a playoff ticket and they’ve logged a very important home win against Lokomotiv Kuban to stay in the race. That was Lokomotiv’s first loss in VTB League since December 7.
PARMA beats Zielona Gora to get ahead of the competition
Although it may not be exactly counted as an advantage since they’ve played one match more than the four teams behind them, the PARMA squad nonetheless secured the win against Zielona Gora to get their eighth win (8-10) and the fifth spot.
Eigirdas Zukauskas was the one leading them in the 91-76 home win with 18 points while Maxim Grigoryev helped with 15 points. That put Zielona Gora at the 10th spot with a 7-11 record, the same as Kalev/Cramo. Yes, things are looking up for PARMA which also has added veteran Serb big man Boris Savovic in its roster.
Astana gets a much-needed win and catches up with Enisey
Malcolm Hill scored 22 and Jeremiah Hill 19 points as they pushed Astana to a 78-64 road win against Enisey. Dusan Ristic was also an important factor for the victors with nine points and nine boards.
This win came after three straight losses for Astana which slowed them down considerably. Nonetheless, they bounced back and this pushes them to the sixth spot with a 7-10 record, same as Nizhny , Zenit St Petersburg, and Enisey. A close race indeed.
Top 10 plays
This week featured five instead of six games but that didn’t mean less electrifying plays. This time around, Ivan Strebkov earned the No. 1 spot with a timely block that gave Nizhny a much-need momentum to stay hold off Lokomotiv.
Sander Raieste and Mareks Mejeris follow him with a couple of dunks. Take a look:
VTB Weekly results and scorers
Nizhny – Lokomotiv 96-93 (Astapkovich 18 – Williams 19)
Avtodor – Tsmoki 109-90 (Starks 21 – Salash 20)
UNICS – Kalev 87-76 (Smith 18 – Vinales 21)
Enisey – Astana 64-78 (Zakharov 19 – M. Hill 22)
PARMA – Stelmet 91-76 (Zukauskas 18 – Hakanson 13)
1. Khimki 17-1
2. CSKA 14-4
3. Lokomotiv 13-5
4. UNCIS 11-6
5. PARMA 8-10
6. Astana 7-10
7. Nizhny 7-10
8. Zenit 7-10
9. Enisey 7-10
10. Stelmet 7-11
11. Kalev 7-11
12. Avtodor 5-12
13. Tsmoki 4-14
Photo Credit: VTB United League