CSKA Holds Off UNICS Comeback

CSKA Moscow defeated UNICS Kazan at home in Game 1 of the playoff finals, 84-76. After a competitive first half, CSKA put together a big 3rd quarter to put the game away. UNICS did cut the deficit to seven midway through the 4th, but it was too little too late on the road.

UNICS and CSKA have one of the best rivalries in Russian basketball, but haven't battled for a championship since 2012. CSKA came out on top then, giving UNICS extra motivation to exact revenge four years later.

Both teams started cautiously, testing out the opposing defense. Even Nando De Colo struggled to make an impact in the opening minutes, despite receiving his Regular Season MVP award moments earlier from Ilona Korstin.

Finally, midway through the 1st quarter, Milos Teodosic connected on a pair of 3-pointers, turning a two-point advantage into eight.

The Army Men relied on the perimeter shot throughout the first half. Every time Kazan tried to mount a comeback, Teodosic, Andrey Vorontsevich or Vitaly Fridzon hit a '3' to restore CSKA's edge.

UNICS hung in there, however, getting a pair of 3-pointers from Konstantinos Kaimakoglou in the 2nd quarter and only trailed by five, 46-41, at halftime.

Kazan was fired up to start the 3rd quarter, but CSKA's trio of Fridzon, Nando De Colo, and Kyle Hines were simply too much. The three Army Men combined for 19 points in the opening five minutes of the second half, giving the home team a 14-point advantage.

CSKA led by as much as 18 in the 3rd quarter and took a 14-point lead into the 4th quarter. After Teodosic hit a '3' to put the home team up 17 at the beginning of the 4th, UNICS went on an 11-1 run to move within seven points, 77-70, with over four minutes to go.

But it was too little too late. UNICS only scored six points in the final five minutes, suffering an eight-point defeat in Game 1 of the finals.

Star Player
Milos Teodosic. The cerebral core of CSKA's offense was once again huge on the court, recording a double-double (17 points, 10 assists), helping feed Kyle Hines under the basket, who finished with 15 points of his own.

Stat of the Game
41-17 - CSKA's advantage in bench scoring.