CSKA, Lokomotiv Kuban victorious in VTB Playoffs openers

2022-04-22T21:06:53+00:00 2022-04-23T18:38:20+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

22/Apr/22 21:06


Wins at home for CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar tip off the VTB United League Playoffs

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Dominating in large stretches, CSKA secured the 78-64 victory versus Nizhny Novgorod to claim the 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series of the VTB United League Quarterfinals Friday night.

Serbian international Nikola Milutinov posting a 19-point, 17-rebound double-double paved the way for the team based in Moscow. Detroit-born Will Clyburn put up 17 points behind 7/19 field goals in Game 1. Shooting 6/12 from the field, experienced Russian star and former NBA player, Alexey Shved made it to 16 points. Sergey Toropov and Anton Astapkovich both scored 19 points for the visitors.

Earlier, in the opening game of the Playoffs, Lokomotiv Kuban held on to defeat Parma PariBet, 76-70. Former Baylor standout Johnathan Motley combined 18 points with eight rebounds. Fellow American import Jaylen Barford and Russian youngster Aleksandr Shcherbenev chipped in 12 and 11 more points, respectively. A former big man of both Loko and CSKA, Artem Zabelin recorded a game-high 23 points at the losing end.

The other Quarterfinals pairings draw second-seeded Zenit Saint Petersburg versus Enisey Krasnoyarsk and third-seeded UNICS Kazan against Avtodor Saratov. The remaining Game 1 fixtures follow Saturday, while the Game 2 schedule stretches Sunday through Monday. The teams reaching three wins will advance to the Semifinals of the Playoffs.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war in Eastern Europe, Euroleague Basketball announced the decision to withdraw the participation of CSKA, UNICS, Zenit, and Loko from Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup in late March. The Russian sides have since been limited to the VTB.

Zenit blows out Enisey to take a 1-0 lead

Zenit St Petersburg established its dominance over Enisey with a 49-point 104-55 victory at home to open the playoffs series in the best way possible. Zenit grabbed a 33-11 lead in the opening quarter and never looked back since. Sergey Karasev scored 19 points to lead the hosts, Alex Poythress followed with 13 points, Jordan Mickey added 12, while Igor Volkhin and Vitaly Fridzon had 11 and 10 points respectively. Grigoriy Motovilov led all Enisey scorers with 18 points.

 UNICS dominant over Avtodor

Unics Kazan used firepower to take down Avtodor 101-76 at home in their playoffs series opener. O.J. Mayo led all scorers with 16 points while Zeljko Sakic and Lorenzo Brown each tapped 14 points leading UNICS to a comfortable win. Jaron Johnson added to the team’s efforts with 13 points and Vyacheslav Zaytchev had 11 points. Nikita Mikhaylovski added a game-high of 18 points and 10 assists for Avtodor and Evgeniy Minchenko dropped 16 points and 8 assists.


Photo Credit: EuroLeagueBasketball.net