By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
As the playoffs draw closer, the fight for a flattering spot in the standings of VTB League intensifies. For the moment, Unics still enjoys the first place.
Ken Brown (VEF)
Speaking of surprises, VEF was one of them this weekend, as 28-year-old Brown perfectly executed Khimki on the road. The American guard added 22 points, five rebounds and three assists, as the Latvian team moved up to a 4-10 record, tying with Astana, Kalev and Tsmoki-Minsk! Which team will survive the battle? We only have to wait and see. Until then, enjoy some of Brown’s highlights:
Unics wins seventh straight game
Unics almost choked against Kalev, yet Jamar Smith and Stephane Lasme stepped up just in time for the Russian side. Smith led the winning side with 15 points, while Lasme recorded a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. The top-spot holders have now a 7-game winning streak, with high hopes for this season.
Astana shock for Zenit
The most surprising result of this past weekend was, of course, Zenit’s loss in Kazakhstan against Astana. The Russian side helped their opponents stay in the playoffs picture – at least with the current results. The Kazakh team didn’t let its 3-10 record take a toll, as big man Ike Udanoh put on his best performance with 21 points, 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes.
Stunning VEF against Khimki
Another upset after Astana’s result came in Moscow, as Khimki faced defeat from VEF. The visiting side used a major comeback in the final period to overcome its opponent, with the weekly MVP, Ken Brown, firing 5 out of 6 3-pointers! Giorgos Bartzokas’ squad ranks 6th in the current standings (7-7 record), while there’s little room left for more defeats.
‘Wounded’ CSKA Moscow got the job done
Dimitris Itoudis’ squad once again lacked Othello Hunter and Kyle Hines, yet Nando De Colo came in, pushing CSKA to the victory. 32 points in the first period, along with 25 assists overall (compared to Tsmoki’s 11), were enough for the Army Team to seal off one more victory.
All-Star Weekend incoming!
Save the date, February 17! Before the All-Star Game between Russian and World Stars occurs, there will be plenty of festivities, including the Slam Dunk Contest. In regards to that, Frank Elegar will replace Zenit’s Drew Gordon, who was originally expected to participate, as he’s still recovering from a recent injury.