CSKA Russia defeated VEF Latvia at home in Game 2, 100-80 (23-27. 23-13, 26-23, 28-17).
CSKA: Nando De Colo (20), Will Clyburn (14 + 7 reb), Cory Higgins (14), Sergio Rodriguez (10 + 8 ast)
VEF: Mareks Mejeris (23 + 5 reb), Ken Brown (14), Paul Carter (11)
CSKA overcame a slow start on defense to win easily at home, 100-80, and move within a win of the Final Four.
Nando De Colo and Sergio Rodriguez led the way in the backcourt, combining for 30 points and 12 assists.
Riga hung around, trailing by only nine points at the end of the 3rd quarter. The visitors stormed to a 27-23 lead in the opening period. Despite trailing by 17 early in the 3rd quarter, the Latvians were able to claw back to within seven, 67-60.
Mareks Mejeris poured in 23 points for VEF, including eight during the 3rd-quarter comeback, but it wasn’t enough.
CSKA took care of business quickly in the 4th, forcing a VEF turnover and scoring back-to-back buckets to regain a double-digit advantage.
Riga was unable to respond, shooting 3-13 in the 4th to go with four turnovers.
CSKA now has a chance to clinch the series at home on Tuesday and move on to the Final Four.
23 – number of CSKA assists, almost double VEF’s total of 12.
Dish of the Game
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) May 27, 2018
CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis:
– Congratulations to the team on a second win. We need one more to reach the Final Four. As for the game, we obviously were bad on defense to start, but we managed to make a lot of changes in the 2nd quarter. We did a better job with match-up defense, dominated on the glass, and, if I’m not mistaken, won the rebounding battle 20-6 and forced our opponent to make mistakes. VEF deserves a lot of credit. They also have to play in two competitions, including the national league, but this is a very well-coached team and roster. Yes, we’ve averaged more than 100 points per game vs. Riga, but believe me, it’s not easy. We have to work hard for this. The score of the game is irrelevant. We’re in the playoffs, which is what basketball’s all about. I also want to thank our fans for supporting us today.
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:
– Congratulations to CSKA. Our opponent was better today and deserved the win. CSKA played aggressively. We lost the rebounding battle and didn’t take advantage of our chances. We made a lot of mistakes, and our opponent punished us for them.
Tuesday, May 29 at 8:00 PM (8:00 MSK) – Moscow
Images of the Game