Lokomotiv Kuban knocks out CSKA in VTB semifinals

2023-05-01T16:18:56+00:00 2023-05-01T16:22:32+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

01/May/23 16:18


Both VTB United League Semifinals go the distance with Lokomotiv Kuban becoming the first team to earn a spot in the Finals

By Eurohoops Team/ info@eurohoops.net

Entirely different situations for leading Russian clubs through the 2022-23 season in the aftermath of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the VTB United League Playoffs are nearing completion of the Semifinals.

With both best-of-seven series going the distance, Lokomotiv Kuban was the first to punch in a ticket to the Finals after defeating CSKA, 103-100, in overtime Monday.

The top scorer for the visitors at Megasport Arena, Okaro White combined 21 points with eight rebounds in winner-takes-all Game 7. Jaylen Barford went for 17 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Aleksandr Shcherbenev chipped in 15 more points.

The team located in Moscow created a game-high nine-point separation in the fourth quarter but failed to deliver the knockout blow. Instead of competing for the championship, CSKA will battle for third place in a best-of-five series. Alexey Shved’s 22 points were not enough.

CSKA actually finished the Regular Season in the first place and swept Avtodor in the Quarterfinals best-of-five series. Fifth-seeded Loko followed up from a three-game sweep against Pari Nizhny Novgorod to break yet another homecourt advantage against the Moscow team.

The team coached by Aleksander Sekulic is now four more wins away from possibly winning the VTB championship for the first time in team history. The only exceptions so far to the 11 titles captured by CSKA, Zenit is the defending champion and Khimki Moscow Region went all the way in 2011.

The other Semifinals best-of-seven series between UNICS and Zenit will conclude tomorrow, Tuesday. The winner will face the Krasnodar outfit in the best-of-seven championship series.

Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net

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