CSKA-2 Crowned VTB United Youth League Champs

CSKA-2 won the VTB United Youth League championship today in Samara, defeating Avtodor-2 in the final game, 67-65. The game was decided on the final possession. Trailing by two, Avtodor came up empty in the final seconds, allowing CSKA to escape with the win. The Army Men were led by Mikhail Kulagin (20 points) and Anton Astapkovich (19 points). Egor Kurkin (20 points) and Agasy Tonoyan (17 points) starred for Saratov.

CSKA-2 defends its title, winning the championship for the second year in a row. Avtodor, meanwhile, finishes in 2nd place for the first time. 3rd place went to Khimki-2, as they held off Samara-SGEU, 69-66, in the 3rd-place game.

CSKA-2 guard Mikhail Kulagin was named the Final Eight MVP, joined by guard Alexander Gavrilov (CSKA-2), guard Agasy Tonoyan (Avtodor-2), forward Anton Astapkovich (CSKA-2), forward Sergei Zhulkov (Samara-SGEU) and center Artem Klimenko (Avtodor-2) on the All-Tournament Team.

- Three years ago, when we first launched the youth league project, there were plenty of skeptics who didn't believe in its potential, - said VTB United League general director, Andrey Shirokov. - I think this season demonstrates the important and necessity of a competition for young players on professional clubs. This competition has become a bridge of sorts for young players as they transition to the next level. Each season, more and more guys get experience and make an impact on the league's senior teams. That would include CSKA's Astapkovich, Kulagin and Gavrilov and Saratov's Tonoyan, and, of course, Klimenko. The competition format, which culminates in the Final Eight, has also been a hit. This tourneyin Samara was full of surprises and exciting games, which rivaled the senior league in competitiveness and unpredictability.

2015-16 VTB United Youth League final standings:

1. CSKA-2 (Moscow)
2. Avtodor-2 (Saratov)
3. Khimki-2 (Moscow Region)
4. Samara-SGEU (Samara)
5. Lokomotiv-Kuban-2 (Krasnodar)
6. Zenit-2 (St. Petersburg)
7. UNICS-2 (Kazan)
8. Nizhny Novgorod-2 (Nizhny Novgorod)
9. Krasny Oktyabr-2 (Volgograd)
10. Enisey-2 (Krasnoyarsk)