CSKA Russia defeated VEF Latvia on the road in Game 1, 112-83 (28-25, 29-20, 26-18, 29-20).
VEF: Kaspars Berzins (20 + 7 reb), Mareks Mejeris (16)
CSKA: Nando De Colo (15 + 7 ast), Will Clyburn (15), Victor Khryapa (14 + 5 reb), Othello Hunter (14)
Due to a scheduling conflict at the Arena Riga, CSKA and VEF opened their quarterfinal series in the coastal town of Liepaja. Despite the unfamiliar surroundings and a boisterous crowd of 1,500, the Army Men looked perfectly at home, scoring a playoff-record 112 points to destroy VEF by 29.
Riga kept it close until midway through the 2nd quarter. The home team started the game on fire, dropping 43 points on CSKA in the opening 16 minutes. Unfortunately for VEF, the Army Men were even hotter. Leading 45-43 with four minutes to play in the half, CSKA entered the locker room on a 12-2 run to stretch the lead to 12.
The Army Men picked up where they left off in the 3rd quarter, quickly making it a 20-point game behind back-to-back 3’s from Will Clyburn and Mikhail Kulagin.
VEF never threatened the rest of the way, coasting to a comprehensive 112-83 win with seven players in double figures.
48% – CSKA knocked down 14 3-pointers at a 48% clip.
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:
– We played an elite team today. We weren’t able to convert all of our opportunities in the first half. After halftime, our opponent was already way ahead with a big lead. Congratulations to CSKA on the win.
CSKA head coach Dimitris Itudis:
– Congratulations to the team on the win. We were focused and we fought. It’s 1-0, to be continued.
Sunday, May 27 at 7:00 PM (7:00 MSK)
Images of the Game