By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
The first VTB League week of 2020 featured five games including a clash at the top of the standings, between Khimki and CSKA.
Janis Timma pushed Khimki to victory in that matchup while UNICS Kazan and Astana defended their home court. Zielona Gora and Zenit, on the other hand, got their wins on the road.
MVP – Janis Timma
There were more than a few strong outings this week but we have to give the honors to Janis Timma who was the key factor with 26 points on 11-15 shooting in Khimki’s win in the game of the week against CSKA.
Alex Tyus deserves credit for pushing UNICS back from a big deficit against Saratov while Malcolm Hill and Dusan Ristic also had big outings for Astana in win over Enisey.
Khimki confirms top spot at the start of 2020
Khimki has been having a great VTB season and the squad didn’t allow the loss against Lokomotiv Kuban (their first) to change that. They bounced right back and won against CSKA led by Janis Timma’s 26 points.
They got an important job done as now they hold a 12-1 record in front of CSKA with 10-4. The latter also got some bad news to with the loss as Daniel Hackett suffered a pinky fracture during the match.
Alex Renfroe ‘robs’ Tsmoki-Minsk
Zenit closed the first batch of games in 2020 with an 80-60 rout over Tsmoki-Minsk. Alex Renfroe banked 15 points but also added seven steals and seven assists to cover all the bases.
This win puts Zenit at the sixth spot with a 6-6 record which reflects their season full of ups and downs so far. Meanwhile, Tsmoki stayed at the bottom with two wins out of ten games.
UNICS continues the tradition in win over Saratov
UNICS and Saratov faced each other 18 times and the latter managed to get just one win, back in 2015. They sure came close to it this time around as well but despite scoring the first 19 points of the game, Saratov couldn’t hold on until the end.
Alex Tyus and Jamar Smith took over with 27 and 19 points for UNICS respectively and led their squad to a narrow 86-83 comeback win which puts them at the fourth spot with a 7-5 record.
Hill, Ristic and Astana stay strong at home
Malcolm Hill posted 29 points while Dusan Ristic notched a big double-double with 26 points and 17 boards as they led Astana to a 95-90 home win over Enisey.
Astana has been having a great stretch this season losing only four times in the last 20 games in all competitions. They seem to use the home advantage quite well and they lost only one VTB game this season in front of their fans.
VTB League results and scorers
UNICS – Saratov 86-83 (Tyus 27 – Starks 24)
Astana – Enisey 95-90 (Hill 29 – Berry 22)
Kalev/Cramo – Zielona Gora 70-92 (Skele 16 – Gordon 21)
Khimki – CSKA 96-80 (Timma 26 – Hilliard 24)
Tsmoki – Zenit 60-80 (Lowery 22 – Hollins 16)
Photo Credit: VTB United League